CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, experts deliberated on the importance of Integrated Pest Management in food processing scenario.

At a recently concluded one day national webinar on fumigation and alternative methods for safe storage and trade of food grains: Current and future prospects, experts highlighted that for grain storage pest control was indispensable.

Mumbai-based UPL, an agrochemical production and marketing limited multi-national firm having the worldwide expertise in the area of fumigation, sponsored the webinar. Early this year, CSIR-CFTRI inked MoU for sharing technical know how with UPL.

The webinar was themed on six different research fields namely Grain storage management, Fumigation technology, Hermetic technology, Biocontrol technology, Fumigant monitoring and Regulatory aspects. Experts working in the field of grain storage management and pest infestation control also shared their knowledge.

Dr. Sridevi Annapurna Singh, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru, inaugurated the webinar which is coordinated by Food Protectants and Infestation Control (FPIC) Department.

In the inaugural address, Dr Singh spoke about the importance of grain storage as well as loss of nutritive value of the grain due to insect pests infestations. She also highlighted the requirement of grain storage silos, alternative fumigants and biofumigants for safe storage of food grains etc.

Dr. Prakash M Halami, Chief Scientist & Head, FPIC department, in his introductory remarks emphasised the importance of grain storage loss due to insect pests and food grain damage caused by about 100 different species of insects predominantly comprising of weevils, borers, beetles and moths.

Further, Dr Halami, pointed out ozone layer depletion, insect resistance against phosphine due to excessive usage of fumigants and limitation of ozone gas as a fumigant. Hence, the need of integrated pest management approach in grain storage management is highly focussed on the current scenario.

Dr. P. Srinivas Rao, Professor from IIT, Kharagpur, spoke on modern grain storage structures for safe storage of post-harvest food grains.

Three experts from UPL, Mumbai Dr. S. Rajendran (consultant), Ujjawal Kumar (business head), Rajneesh Kumar (technical advisor), shared their knowledge in the area of fumigation and stored grain protection; fumigant monitoring and safety; the importance of fumigation regulatory aspects in trade and export.

Dr. S. Sumithra Devi, from FPIC Dept, delivered lecture about need of organic pesticides, challenges and opportunities of bio-based fumigants for safe storage of food grains. Praveen Gupta from GrainPro Inc., Noida talked about hermetic technology and non-chemical methods of infestation control.

At the end of the technical session, a panel discussion was also organised. A total of 73 participants including academicians, pest control operators and students, researchers from different parts of the country joined in the webinar. This webinar provided an opportunity to young scientists and budding researchers working in food protection and safety research