Dipika’s Journey from Project to PhD in Australia

DSI4MTF project’s former project coordinator from Nepal, Dipika Das received John Allwright fellowship 2016, Australia awards. Every year, the award is given to few potential candidates contributing to ACIAR projects globally. The fellowship let her pursue PhD at University of Southern Queensland in Australia. Being part of the project has given her opportunity to grab the scholarship and lead her career development once she has dreamt for. She is native of Eastern Gangetic Plain and getting involved in DSI4MTF research work helped her to deeply internalise the constraints and potential of small farmers. Especially the women who are changing the existing gender norms to participate in agriculture. Her PhD now focuses on exploring the ways to support smallholder women farmers to sustain in the competitive agricultural value chain and establish food security.

Recently Dipika received a Crawford Fund 2017 to participate in TropAg Conference 2017 Nov 20-22. She presented a poster, based on the research work conducted for DSI4MTF project in Saptari.   The poster titled, “Strengthening agriculture for marginal and tenant farmers in Eastern Gangetic Plains: agrarian relations with gender perspective in agricultural value chain” and demonstrated broadly the project operation activities in the Saptari site.

TropAg is the world’s leading international tropical agriculture event bringing together the best in research and innovation, across plant, animal and food sciences. The conference theme this year was High impact science to nourish the world. The event held in Brisbane attracted more than 700 delegates from 50 countries. Good number of interest was created by the poster presented.

Her further research will be carried in the DSI4MTF project sites in Saptari and Madhubani.


BPH threat in paddy: early diagnosis is the key

 During monsoon season, paddy is grown almost in all the cultivated lands of  Dhaloguri and Uttar Chakoakheti, two selected villages under  ACIAR-LWR project operates in West Bengal. In this year the  crop stand is excellent due to continuous receipt of  rainfall over last couple of months. In most of the fields  the paddy is in heading to harvest stage. In village  Dhaloguri (site l), we found the attack of Brown Plant  Hopper in some scattered patches which is very serious at  this stage of the crop.

Sap is sucked in the grain filling stage so husks are hollow

 Symptoms and nature of damage:

 Affected plants dries up and gives a scorched appearance of the plant called Hopper  Burn.At early infestation, circular yellow patches appear  which soon turn brownish due to rapid drying. The patches of  infestation then spread out and cover the entire field very  fast. The grain setting is affected to a huge extent and it  resulted in a significant yield loss.Both the nymphs and  adults remain at ground level and suck the SAP from the  plant.

 Management strategy:

 The problem has to be addressed very quickly.  In the village Dhaloguri it is being addressed by the  scientists of UBKV to prevent its spread in neighbouring  fields.It is now advocated to drain out excess water from  the field, if any. Any one of the following systemic insecticides should be applied on urgent basis:

 Imidachloprid 17.8%(1ml in 5 litres of water)  Thiomethoxam 25%(1 g in 3 litres of water) Acephate  50%+Imidachloprid 1.8%(2 g per litre of water) Cartap  hydrochloride 50%(1 g per litre of water) It is being  advised from the project to monitor the fields on regular  basis so that chemical measures can be taken immediately if  symptoms appear in the field.