New methodology of Pest control:Pheromone Technology

Pheromone Technology                                                            by Laxmi Narayan Boxi

When the entire world is advocating for limited the use of poison for pest management in view of harms to the human body, flora and fauna however the Indian Scientists were developed a new technology for control the insects which is eco-friendly and highly economical for plant protection.
DR.Rajasekhara Rao  Korda is the lone scientist of ICAR-CTCRI,Trivandrum having expertise and development  for popularizing the new technology of Pheromone for plant protection in India. Although 3 laboratory working on this pheromones like IICT (CSIR), NBAIR (ICAR) and CTCRI (ICAR).

For his innovation of research he has been awarded the prestigious “Norman Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellowship” for the year 2012 from India, by United States Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS).Dr.Raj Sekhar Korada
Dr Korda have expertise in pheromones from Wageningen University, The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India has funded his research through its “DBT’s Biotechnology Overseas Associate ship Award (Long Term) 2005-2006 in The Netherlands.

How the Magic of Pheromone Technology is helpful for farmers of Odisha?

When Central Tuber Crop Research Institute Bhubaneswar Intervened in Dhenkanal Sadar Block in the year 2012 .Sweet potato growers were losing their production due to weevil insects. Soon after our intervened with the farmers were able to produce the good quality of sweet potato and able earn more than 40 percent of their income. The technology has been spread to the Keonjhar district also.
To overcome insects from different crops pheromones have been used to monitor the pest, lure and kill the pest in huge numbers thus reducing the pest presence in the fields.

How Pheromone Technology is advantage in recent times?

It is the modern technology to control the insects in India which will enhance forty percent production of crops.  Environment friendly and economically viable which is highly popular for sweet potato. With only investment of rupees 430/ha, it can control over millions of weevils of sweet potato.In Sweet potato (Z)-3-dodecenyl-(E)-butenoate is used as sex pheromone of sweet potato weevil (Cylas formicarius), which attracts the male sweet potato weevils.This compound is impregnated @ 1 to 10 mg/lure and installed in the field in plastic jars or cans. The pheromone acts up to 30-35 meters. The highest catch recorded on the first day was 3000 weevils.
The pheromones are highly volatile and the smell is detected only by insects and not any other organisms. They are species specific and attract only its own species and not any other species, thus they are very selective and do not pose danger in attracting beneficial insects (parasites and predators).
Generally they last for 4 months so use of a one pheromone trap can work for entire duration of the crop. Pheromones act over different distances based on the concentration and dose. Silkworm moths are attracted from over 2 to 3 kilometers distance.
In different crops, pheromones have been successfully used to control the pests. For control of different insect pests of rice, cabbage and cauliflower, cotton, tobacco, maize, citrus, coconut, pheromones have been successfully used.Sweet potato weevil pheromone trap

Whether your research confined with Tuber crops or other crops also?

Apart from sweet potato weevil, I am also working on identifying and development of pheromones for insect pests attacking Rice (Rice gundhibug), Jute (Spilosoma obliqua), citrus (trunk borer), guava (guava borer), litchi (litchi borer), ber (ber borer) through collaborations with ICAR institutes.
We have state of the art laboratory at Regional Centre, ICAR-CTCRI, and Bhubaneswar for collection and identification of volatiles of plants and pheromones of insect pests. CTCRI Bhubaneswar is one of the three “Chemical Ecology” laboratories in India to cater the needs of agricultural scientists in the North and North Eastern states.

Whether any scientific methods will enhance the storage life of agriculture product?

Yes. In India Bhaba Atomic Reseach Centre (Mumbai) is the only center for agriculture produce to facilitate the increase storage life & killing the pests within produce. It helps for long storage and export and prevents spread of quarantine insects not to spread to other state.
Increase the shelf life of produce and also inhibited sprouting of seeds so that seed storage can be done for longer duration.

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