The IPM Innovation Lab (IPM IL) conducted a three day “Training on Diagnosis of Plant Virus Diseases in Vegetable Crops” at the Plant Pathology Division of the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in Kathmandu, Nepal March 1-3, 2016. The main objective of this workshop was to provide training on plant virus disease diagnosis and management. This workshop was jointly organized by the IPM IL, NARC, and iDE Nepal.
More than 60 participants and guests attended the inaugural session on March 1st. It was chaired by Dr. Baidya Nath Mahto, NARC’s Chief of Plant Pathology Division. Dignitaries in attendance included Navin Hada (AID Project Development Specialist/Agriculture, Social, Environmental and Economic Development Office, USAID/Nepal), Ganesh KC, Nepal’s former Agriculture Secretary, and Bharat Upadhyay (Execitive Director, Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension and Development- CEAPRD) as along with others from NARC, iDE headquarters, Plant Protection Directorate, Plant Biotechnology Division, and Mercy Corps.
Eleven (five female, six male) early career scientists were selected for the training from NARC stations across the country, including scientists from Plant Pathology Division, Horticulture Research Division, Hill Crop Research Programme, Plant Protection Directorate, CEAPRD, and iDE.
Dr. Amer Fayad (IPM IL, Virginia Tech) and Dr. Naidu Rayapati (Washington State University) designed and delivered an interactive participatory workshop with field visits, lectures, and lab work. Topics covered basic virus characteristics, epidemiology, and management. Special lectures and laboratory sessions addressed the various dimensions involved in the detection of plant viruses and the capacity to conduct these techniques in NARC. A lot of focus was put on plant virus diseases, especially those of importance to Nepal and South Asia.
Participants were given hands-on experience in identifying virus symptoms in the field, collecting samples for disease identification, and conducting serological techniques (ELISA, Immunostrips) for virus detection. This showed that, even with limited resources and facilities, such diagnostic assays can be done successfully to achieve intended results and impacts at NARC stations.
This workshop is the result of continued collaboration between IPM IL and NARC, and highlights the exemplary partnership among IPM IL, NARC, and NGOs like iDE and CEAPRD to train the next generation of agricultural scientists and extension personnel for overall capacity building in Nepal.