Rayapati attends Workshop in Nepal
The USAID-funded Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management (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 train the next generation of agricultural scientists and extension personnel for overall capacity building in plant virus disease diagnosis and management in Nepal. Dr. Amer Fayad (IPM IL, Virginia Tech) and Dr. Naidu Rayapati (Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University) designed and delivered an interactive participatory workshop with field visits, lectures, and lab work. Eleven early career scientists from NARC stations across the country, including scientists from Plant Pathology Division, Horticulture Research Division, Hill Crop Research Program, Plant Protection Directorate, CEAPRD, and iDE, participated in the workshop. 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. This workshop was jointly organized by the IPM IL, NARC, and iDE Nepal. 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 workshop demonstrated that such diagnostic assays can be done successfully even with limited resources and facilities to achieve intended results and impacts at NARC stations.
The inaugural session of the workshop was held on March 1st and 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) along with others from NARC, iDE headquarters, Plant Protection Directorate, Plant Biotechnology Division, and Mercy Corps. 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.