PAU Registers First Biocontrol Agent for Foot Rot Disease Management in Basmati Paddy

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has reached a significant milestone by registering the biocontrol agent Trichoderma Asperellum 2% WP with the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC). This biocontrol agent will help to manage foot rot or Bakane disease in basmati paddy, which has been a persistent problem in the region, causing considerable losses to farmers and threatening the state’s export prospects.
Basmati rice is known for its unique aroma and flavour and is a crucial crop for India with a large share of the global market. The expanding cultivation area has heightened the need for effective disease management strategies, especially for Foot Rot or Bakane disease caused by the fungus Gibberella fujikuroi (Fusarium moniliforme). Moderate to high incidence of Foot Rot has been reported in the past in Pusa Basmati 1121 and Pusa Basmati 1509 in the state. This disease not only reduces yield but also poses health risks due to mycotoxin contamination in the affected rice grains.
Trichoderma asperellum, a biocontrol agent, offers an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides, which often leave harmful residues. Its registration, approved during the 455th CIB & RC meeting marks a significant step in sustainable agriculture. By treating seeds and seedlings with Trichoderma, farmers can combat Bakane disease without compromising on environmental safety.
The Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, extended his congratulations to the scientists behind this achievement, acknowledging their hard work and dedication. “This is a tremendous step forward for sustainable agriculture in Punjab. I commend Dr. Narinder Singh, former Head of Plant Pathology, Department of Plant Pathology and Dr. Daljeet Singh Buttar, Principal Plant Pathologist, PAU, Ludhiana for their relentless efforts in developing and registering Trichoderma asperellum as a solution for Bakane disease. Their commitment to advancing agricultural practices not only benefits our farmers but also safeguards our environment,” Dr. Gosal said.
With the registration now complete, the focus turns to widespread adoption among farmers in Punjab. The availability of Trichoderma asperellum for Foot Rot management will enable a sustainable approach to rice cultivation, reducing reliance on chemical pesticides and ensuring safer rice production for consumers worldwide.
Source: Krishakjagat

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