As a very important crop in India, the growing of rice and tackling pests and diseases is given lots of attention. Rice thats planted directly into the field cuts effort and water consumption but increases the likelihood of pest damage. Our aim therefore is to develop a sustainable and scalable system of plant health management, especially for directly planted seedlings, to encourage an irrigation-economy for rice production.
India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world and it can be a powerful engine for development. However, tea crops here suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Pesticides are the main management solution but this results in increased production costs and potential risks to human health. So, we undertook a major scientific research study to evaluate the use of ecological pest and disease management strategies. The project aimed to establish proof of concept for the judicious use of inputs in the tea ecosystem and develop a toolkit of non-chemical pest management practices which can encourage the sustainable production of tea.