The responsibility of protecting food crops from diseases and pests in the challenging environment is rising with increase in human population and its needs. The crop losses due to pests are assessed to be ranging approximately between 10 to 30% of crop productions. Status and importance of various diseases have changed over the years in India. Awareness is needed to know the status of these problems and to develop management modules to protect these in eco-friendly manner. IDM is a multidisciplinary approach that seems promising to manage diseases effectively by integration of cultural, physical, biological and chemical strategies. Of the diverse components in IDM, biocontrol is important, but notwithstanding their known efficacy, biocontrol formulations have only a inadequate share in the national pesticide scenario. How to make biocontrol more effective, feasible and popular needs to be reviewed thoroughly. Development and use of molecular techniques for pathogen detection, resistance identification and cloning of genes for resistance seems very promising to realize the goal. So, further research thrust is needed in India to develop and utilize new novel technologies and strategies like gene cloning, recombinant DNA technology and other biotechnological and molecular modules to minimize the crop losses due to existing and new emerging diseases in the light of climate changes. Plant pathologists have a crucial role to play in this scenario. We have to be more proactive in our approach. Some of the current advances and emerging challenges in crop disease management in India are briefly discussed in this review.
Key word: Integrated disease management, biocontrol, India.
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