International Webinar on “Weed flora and their management in rice-wheat cropping system” organized   (29 October, 2021)

Rice-wheat cropping system covering an area of 10.5 million hectares, is the most dominating production system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) of India, and contributing significantly in the food security of the nation. Weeds are one of the major deterrents in sustaining the productivity of this system, and causing economic loss to the tune of more than Rs. 28,000 crores in rice and 21,000 crores in wheat annually. To commensurate with the Govt. of India’s mission “Bharat kaAmrut Mahotsav” commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence, an International Webinar on “Weed flora and their management in rice-wheat cropping system” was organized on 29-10-2021.

The lead speakers were Dr. R.K Malik, System Agronomist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Dr. Virender Kumar, Sr. Scientist, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. They presented the overall scenario of weed problems in rice and wheat in India, and weed flora shifts due to change in ecology, management practices, soil types, and climate change with critical analysis at district levels in 8 major rice-wheat growing states of the country. There is a need to work with farmers in participatory mode to address the specific weed problem. They further suggested that a sustainable weed management strategies based on agro-ecology is needed. Chairman, Dr. NT Yaduraju, former Director of ICAR-DWR Jabalpur suggested using advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)in weed management to solve the weed problems. More than 160 participants from ICAR institutions, SAUs, CAUs, ATARI, KVKs, CG Centres, pesticide industry and NGOs participated in this webinar.

Earlier, Dr. JS Mishra, Director, ICAR-Directorate of Weed Research, Jabalpur highlighted the weed problems in rice-wheat cropping system in the IGP. Dr. Sushil Kumar, Convener and President, ISWS welcomed the lead speakers, chairman and participants, and presented the vote of thanks.

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