Workshop on “Utility of Fodscope for tribal farmers of Meghalaya” at Mysain village

Foldscope is ultra affordable paper made microscope to observe minute things designed to be extremely portable and durable to democratise science among various sections of the society. In this regard, one day workshop on “Foldscope for farmers to attest its utility in advocating management practice against microscopic pests in organic farming” was conducted by ICAR-NBAIR, Bengaluru in association with ICAR Research Complex for NEH region, Umiam as a part of North east twinning programme during third week of December 2018 at farmer’s field in Mynsian village, Meghalaya. Mrs Roja H N, JRF (Junior Research fellow) on behalf of Dr Prakya Sreerama Kumar, Principal Scientist and PI (Principal Investigator) of foldscope project at ICAR- NBAIR and Dr Krishnappa R, Scientist (Plant Physiology), PI of foldscope project at collaborated ICAR RC for NEH Region, Umiam have conducted the workshop. Along with them, Dr Balasubranian, Professor (Agril Entomology), College of Post Graduate Studies, Umiam, Dr Utpal Dey (SRF of ICAR Organic farming project), Ms. Labahty Giri Mawlong (JRF of foldscope project at ICAR NEH), Ms. Claribel Christy (Project assistant), Ms. Kantio lyngdoh (Lab assistant) were participated in the programme. Around thirty five tribal farmers, who generally practicing organic farming in cultivation of field and horticultural crops in their smallholdings were participated in the workshop. The programme was started with field observation on pest incidence and their sample collection. In the workshop, Dr Krishnappa described the special features and its unique applications in organic agriculture like observation on microscopic pests, disease spores, rhizosporic microbes and crop floral structures. Afterwards, Dr Balasubranian also highlighted the role of foldscope for stage specific observation and management of microscopic pests especially during early stages of pest as well as crop growth (seedling). Later, the farmers were exposed to handle this simple and foldscope microscope with special emphasis on its utility in observation of harmful and beneficial microscopic pests viz., aphids, thrips, trichograma and mites. The techniques such as mounting of slides, visualisation under the Foldscope, capturing images in smart phones and forwarding the same and sample to the experts and laboratory tests were demonstrated by Research fellows. After the workshop was over, field visit was arranged for insitu localisation of microscopic pests, their sampling and handling for observation under foldscope. In addition to that the few post graduate (PG) students were participated and learnt to laverage out this foldscope benefit for the service of the farmers. This workshop was first programme of its kind for utilising foldscope for the benefit of tribal tribal farmers in Meghalaya under the North east twinning program in association with ICAR RC for NEH Region under funding support of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India

Field visit and sample collection

Glimpses of foldscope workshop for farmers organised at Mynsain village of Meghalaya by ICAR-NBIAR in collaboration with ICAR RC NEH, Umiam Meghalaya