Across Regions, Asia, India, China, Middle East, Cultivation/Production, Equipment/Technology, News April 2024, Pests and Diseases, Research

Indian agricultural scientists develop innovative, eco-friendly wind operated insect trap to enhance pest control

A groundbreaking wind-operated aerial insect trap designed to revolutionize pest management in agriculture has been developed by a team of scientists at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Potato Research Institute (ICAR-CPRI) in Shimla. Led by Dr. Kapil Kumar Sharma, Chief Technical Officer, and supported by his colleagues Santosh Kumar, Dr. Jagdev Sharma, and Dr. Anil Chauodhary, this innovation promises to transform how pests are monitored and controlled in fields across India and potentially around the world.

The new device, aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, addresses critical gaps in traditional pest control methods, particularly in capturing real-time data on insect population dynamics. Dr. Kapil Kumar Sharma, the lead inventor of the trap, explained its significance: “Monitoring insects and diseases is essential across various areas to develop effective IPM programs. Manual data collection in the fields is often laborious and does not accurately represent the spatial distribution of insect populations.”

Versatile and environmentally friendly

The trap operates entirely on wind power, making it an environmentally friendly solution that does not require electrical energy. Its design allows it to capture both harmful and beneficial insects, providing a comprehensive overview of the insect population in any given agricultural area. “By assessing target pests at the appropriate time, necessary protective measures can be implemented to control both insect pests and disease outbreaks,” Dr. Sharma added.

One of the unique features of the wind-operated trap is its versatility in the field. It can be used as a live sample trap, a sticky trap, or even a solar-powered light trap. “These traps can confirm an infestation and provide an indication of the population density at a location, offering critical information for designing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy for crops,” Dr. Sharma detailed.

The invention is timely as agricultural sectors worldwide are seeking more sustainable ways to manage pests without resorting to heavy chemical use, which can have detrimental effects on the environment and human health. The scientists at ICAR-CPRI, including Dr. Sharma, are optimistic about the potential of their invention to provide a zero-energy, effective solution for farmers everywhere.

A step forward in the pursuit of sustainable agriculture

Dr. Sharma hopes that the introduction of this trap will lead to better pest management practices that are not only effective but also environmentally sustainable. “This trap allows for both quantitative and qualitative estimation of flying insects in the field, collecting insects at all times—day and night—allowing for easy study of aerial insect population dynamics,” he noted.

As the global agricultural community continues to grapple with the challenges of pest management, the work of Dr. Sharma and his team at ICAR-CPRI represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of sustainable agriculture. Their invention not only highlights the potential of innovative, eco-friendly pest management strategies but also underscores the critical role of scientific research in solving real-world problems.

The innovative design of the wind-operated aerial insect trap was officially recognized with patent rights granted by the Patents, Designs and Trademarks Office in India in March 2023. This milestone not only validates the scientific achievement of Dr. Sharma and his team but also secures their intellectual property, paving the way for further development and commercialization.

Expanding the reach and impact of the invention

In looking to the future, Dr. Sharma is eager to expand the reach and impact of their invention. He stated, “We are keen to connect with interested manufacturers to join hands with our team through an MOU with my institute for the production and distribution of the insect trap. Above all, I want self-financed independent researchers to join hands for this type of innovation in plant sciences to be presented in their university projects all over the world.”

This call to action underscores a commitment to fostering innovation in agricultural sciences and promoting practical, research-driven solutions in plant health management globally. Dr. Sharma’s vision for collaborative progress promises to inspire a new generation of researchers and entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture practices.

Contact:
Interested parties are invited to reach out and get in touch with Dr. Kapil Kumar Sharma on kapil222in@gmail.com or on telephone +91 9914757697.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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