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RKVY on e-Pest-Disease Surveillance
RKVY sponsored project entitled "Survey, surveillance, monitoring and advisory services of pests and diseases of major crops in West Bengal"

Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya-the premier agricultural university of the state welcomes the proposal from the Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Marketing, Govt. of West Bengal to launch a pest surveillance scheme in the state from the ensuing Kharif season for the benefit of the farmers under RKVY project. Accordingly, a series of meetings were held between the University scientists and the officials of the State Government to bring out a schematic action plan of the above noted project for further refinement and financial support for effective functioning of the project. A project proposal was submitted by hand on 24.4.2012 to the Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Marketing, Govt. of West Bengal. After series of discussions, it is now felt to submit revised proposal keeping in mind the actual financial and other situation. As such this revised proposal is being placed for its consideration and approval.
Pest surveillance project would cover systematic collection, collation, analysis and interpretation of data relating to pests and diseases and dissemination of relevant information to the farmers for corrective measures in order to mitigate the loss in farm production. Under the given financial situation the project will cover 50% of the Blocks of five districts viz. Nadia, Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan and Bankura districts of South Bengal. The major objectives of the project would be:

• Monitor trends and estimate magnitude of disease-pest problems
• Epidemic ( outbreak) detection and prediction
• Monitor progress towards control objectives
• Monitor programme performance
• Evaluate interventions
• Understand characteristics of pest events: distribution and spread as well as natural history
• Facilitate farm planning
• Impact monitoring.

Pest and disease surveillance functions under the proposal are categorized into core functions and supportive functions. Sub functions under each category are as follows:
1. Core functions:
a. Reporting
b. Detection
c. Investigation and confirmation
d. Analysis and interpretation
e. Action and response

2. Support functions
a. Training
b. Supervision
c. Resources
d. Standard guidelines

Basic ingredients for Pest and disease surveillance:
.  A good network of motivated people
.  Clear case definition and reporting mechanism
.  Efficient communication system
.  Basic but sound epidemiology
.  Laboratory support
.  Good feedback and rapid response
.  Impact study

Considering various factors responsible for onset and spread of pest and diseases, it has become necessary to monitor the pests continuously in order to avoid recurrences of pest outbreaks, simultaneously creating awareness on pest-control based on real time pest-surveillance advisory board through web-based monitoring system and communication technology will help the farmers to mitigate the production risk.

Scientific surveillance of Pest and Diseases as a regular activity on large scale may have sustainable impact on agricultural production system.
1. Real time survey will help in early identification and detection and diagnosis of pest problems.
2. Location specific and timely advisories based on scientific observations will help in judicious use of biological and chemical pesticides and thereby, reducing the pesticide load.
3. Based on regular surveys and daily weather data the effective location and crop-disease /pest specific forewarning system may be developed for appropriate use in IPM strategy.
4. By understanding the ETL concept farmers will be advised appropriate plant protection measures instead of calendar based spraying. This ultimately helps in reducing the use of pesticides and thereby will have tremendous positive effect on environment. 
5. Identification of major and emerging crop specific pest/disease scenario under changing climatic scenario will also pave the path for combating against the pest and pathogen.
6. More and more educated farmers will lead to strengthen the agriculture production system of the state.
7. Success of the project will also be reflected through increased crop yields and reduction of pesticides based pollution problem.

Modus operandi:
1. Crops to be considered:
Project intends to cover Rice, Rape and mustard, Potato

Blocks to be covered

Rape & Mustard*
West Bengal
Crop Area in  ,000ha.(2007-08)

2. Pests considered for surveillance:-
a. Rice: Yellow Stem borer, Gall Midge, Plant hoppers, Leaf folder, Swarming /other caterpillars, blast/Neck blast, Sheath blight & bacterial blight and other pests and diseases as deemed suitable.
b. Rape and Mustard: Aphid, Powdery mildew, White rust , Alternalia leaf spot, clubroot etc.
c. Potato: Aphid, early and Late blight, mosaic disease, leaf curl, bacterial wilt, phoma blight, aphid, white fly, leaf miner, potato tuber moths and other pest and diseases.

3. Operation Details:
Programme consists of the following components
a) Pest and disease monitoring-cum-surveillance
b) Training of the Scouts/Monitors/ Progressive farmers
c) Creation of pest, diseases and ancillary data bank
d) Short term (immediate)and long term analyses of the field level  information
e) Creation of advisory protocol. Suggest immediate plant protection measures for the affected areas/crops
f) Awareness creation, field demonstration may be one of the options
g) Development of forewarning/ forecasting system
h) Mapping/getting distribution of hot spot areas for different pests and diseases for crops under consideration

a. Pest monitoring-cum-surveillance

i. Random survey of pests and diseases would be conducted for the selected crops in all the blocks of the entire state where the particular crop is grown. Multistage PPS sampling technique will be followed for the purpose. There will be two types of fields i) fixed plot field and roving plot field. A pest and diseases scout (PDS) is to cover one block  and report for fixed plot and roving plot information twice in a week taking help of the tablet PC cum mobile with internet connectivity and specially designed software for the purpose; both video pictures and information schedule would be included in the software. 102 Pest and Disease Scouts would be employed by the Department of Agriculture, GoWB and they will be  conducting the field demonstrations and monitor surveillance in fixed plot fields, may be through light traps, sticky traps , colour traps etc.

ii.There will be seven project fellows which will monitor the work of the Scouts. it is proposed to have one monitor for each district and two monitors will be deployed centrally at analytical wing for data processing. These monitors will have access to the reports of the scouts under their jurisdiction.  The scouts will send the information to the monitoring cell directly and a copy of the same will be accessed by the respective monitor. If concerned monitor found that the information sent by the scouts under his/her control are OK then there is no problem, otherwise the monitor is to take immediate measure for rectification of the information by the corresponding scout with in 24 hrs. In absence of any such information with in 24hrs  it will be treated that the information are OK and follow up action would be intimated to the concerned scouts and monitors.

b. Training of the Scouts/Monitors/ Progressive farmers
There will be training programme of two days at least prior to each crop season (initially) to acquaint the scouts/monitors with respect to:
i.  The probable disease-pest of the concerned crops, symptoms timings, favourable condition etc.  Due emphasis should be given to distinguish the symptoms of nutrient and other deficiencies with those of pest and disease attack.
ii. They will also be trained to handle the tablet PCs and the technique of using software for sending both the lively information and fact sheets.
iii.Light trap, sticky traps etc. vis-a-vis recording of information,
iv. How to manage demonstration plots etc.

c. Creation of pest, diseases and ancillary data bank
i.  Information/authenticated information, both in the form of video picture and fact sheet obtained from the field level will be stored in the analytical cell.
ii. A simulation type of analysis would be taken up with the help of the software of NCIPM.
iii.Output from (i) and (ii) would be sent to the experts for their views and advises w.r.t  correct identification of the disease/pest, intensity of infestation, whether to take any control measure or not, if so what are the measures and so on.
iv. Along with these a permanent data bank would be created simultaneously.

d. Short term (immediate) and long-term analyses of the field level information
i.  Information/authenticated information, both in the form of video picture and fact sheet obtained from the field level would be put under a simulation type of analysis with the help of the software of NCIPM.
ii. Output from (i) along with the actual field level information would be sent to the experts for their views and advises w.r.t correct identification of the disease/pest, intensity of infestation, whether to take any control measure or not, if so what are the measures and so on; short term plan.
iii.These information along with those of the ancillary information would be stored for long term analyses leading to the development of forewarning and forecasting system in future. This will serve as repository for future research work also

e. Creation of advisory protocol
The advisory protocol developed by the advisors in stage D would be passed on to the analytical wing and simultaneously to the Govt. In absence of any specific instruction from the Govt. the protocol would be disseminated to the field level through the scouts and the monitors.

f. Awareness creation among the farmer regarding pest and diseases
To create required awareness about the pests and their management practices the scouts and monitors with active support from the advisors and experts in relevant field will organize camps, demonstrations (through field/videos etc.), fairs, clinics etc.

g. Development of forewarning/ forecasting system
With the continuation of the information the possibility of framing forewarning and forecasting system become brighter.

h. Mapping/getting distribution of hot spot areas for different pests and diseases for crops under consideration.
Taking help from the Remote Sensing and GIS technology distribution of different pest and diseases could be mapped which will help in developing future crop protection technology.

4. Organogram:

1) Steering Committee : Representitives from State Govt., SAU, NCIPM or similar organisation. The committee should be of four to five members for effective monitoring
2) Scientific advisory Committee ( SAC) or Expert Committee:  This should include experts in relevant fields like Agronomy, Entomology, Pathology, Soil Science, Ag Chemicals, Physiology, Meteorologists, Economics and Statistics etc. In each field there should be more than one experts who will have organic linkage among the steering committee, analytical wing, PDS, call centres, and also to some extent with the farmers. These group will monitor the field demonstrations for effective dissemination of technical know hows to the ultimate stake holders. The number shuld be around 20-25 and from the scientists/teachers of the State Govt and the SAU, may include retired persons also.
• The expert committe will decide the pests and diseases to be surveyed/monitored.
• Questionairs to be framed
• Analyse the information received from the PDS
• Analyse the references received from the analytical wing
• Suggest the remedial measures to be taken
• Suggest the govt intervention required (if any ) at any point of time
• Act as expert to the queries of the farmers.
• They will have direct role in monitoring the field demonstration.

3) Analytical wing: This is most vital wing in forming linkage between the field level in one hand and the scientists and experts on the other hand. Information will be received from the field level by this wing, preliminary analysis will be carried out, in turn these will be transmitted to the experts for their views and recommendations, which will again be transmitted to the ultimate stake holders through PDS, Govt agencies etc. This wing will comprise of 1) Computer section- manned with software, hardware personals, progremmers and the statisticians; 2) Technical section - comprised of scientists from related fields like Entomology, Pathology, Agronomy and Soil Science. These section may require to develop softwares , may use relevant softwares which may be available from NCIPM like organisations or both. Efficient man power along with facility and capability of analyzing and simulating the situation will lead to the success of the entire project. Any lapses on the part of this wing will have telling effect on the project.
• This wing will gather information from field level i.e. from the PDS or the farmers
• Verify the information through feed back or authentication from the Monitors/ ADO/ SAO/ SMS/DAO......
• Simulate with the existing records, analyse and pass on the processed information along with the original one in video and fact sheet form to the experts.
• Opinions/recommendations will be received from the SAC
• Recommendations will be disseminated to the PDS/Monitors/ADO/ SAO/ SMS/DAO.
• This wing will develop the online system for the above
• Procure / Develop/upgrade softwares
• Maintain the hardwares

4) Monitors: Five Research fellows in five districts will be the monitors at various levels and two monitors will be deployed at analytical wing for data processing. A copy of the reports from the PDS will automatically be reach to the concerned monitor for verification and authentication simultaneously. Passwords will be provided to each of the concerned monitors for verification of the information send by the PDS under his or her control. On verification online authentication (or otherwise) report will be passed on to his higher official as well as to the analytical wing. These monitors may help in effective dissemination of recommendation through field trials/may recommend immediate control measure/may recommend immediate Govt intervention etc.

5) Pest and disease scout (PDS): The PDS will act as source of information and dissemination. They will have consistent surveillance over the pest and diseases to be surveyed on selected crops during the crop growth period. They will be provided with sophisticated modern electronic gazettes so that with in no time they can send the field level information to the concerned monitors and the analytical wing along with photographs. For the purpose they will be provided with suitably designed inbuilt proforma with in the gazettes. These PDS could be provided with training for the purpose under the leadership of the University in collaboration with the State Govt experts. With the given crop groups two each of the PDS will collect the disease and pest data from each block.
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