TRC Project

Probably the single greatest management challenge to the farmer’s world over is that of pests diseases and weeds. Synthetic pesticides, which are the major solutions as of today, are valued for their effectiveness, long shelf life, ease of transportation, storage and application. But their persistent use has led to some fatal toxicity in solid, water and air. In order to have Sustainable Agriculture Food and Environment (SAFE) renewed emphasis has been placed on the development of effective and efficient biorational approaches to manage different pests.

Botanical are supposed to have broad-spectrum activity, relatively specific in their mode of action and also easy to process and use. They tend to be safe for higher animals and environment. Botanical insecticides can often be easily produced by small-scale industries and amenable to advanced technologies. Biopesticides include botanical derivatives make only about 3-4% of the pesticide market and growth has been almost stagnant.

VMSRF has taken global lead in developing some of these botanical pesticides, especially from Neem, using encapsulation and nanotechnology. The leader amongst them is SoluNeem, which is patented worldwide and US EPS (United States Environmental Protection Agency) approved. In the arena of botanical pesticides itself, VMSRF has international patents to its credit. With its research capabilities in microbiology, nanotechnology, molecular biology and plant biotechnology, VMSRF proposed to Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Gol, to launch it as a Translational Research Centre (TRC) for developing, testing and accreditation of botanical pesticides as well as to develop infrastructure for certification of botanicals. VMSRF won the prestigious TRC through tough competition and rigorous selection procedure. This would be fully funded by DBT initially for three years with the possibility of extension by another two years.

The TRC on botanical pesticides provides a platform and single roof solutions to farmers, entrepreneurs, technocrats/scientists, investors, quality controls agencies and the regulatory authorities on botanical approaches for pest management. It would also facilitate to convert an idea into a concept and validate its technical and economical viability.