Honourable Members of the ISWS
Please accept my heartiest congratulations for entering in the New Year 2021 after facing a lot of problems and worries during the year 2020, which has been registered in the history a ‘Worst Year’ due to a threat to almighty human by a tiny, but powerful microorganism. I am sure, this New Year for all of us and India as well will be the year to overcome the past agonies posed by COVID-19. Many types of vaccines have been developed and vaccination process has already started world over to fight against this dominant enemy. India was not behind in the race and has done remarkable scientific work to develop the vaccines for which scientists and workers deserve big kudos.
Among various biotic factors, which limit crop productivity, the crop losses due to weeds are most significant. Based on large sample data, Directorate of Weed Research (ICAR-DWR), Jabalpur estimated yield loss by weeds ranging from 14 to 30 per cent depending on the crop and type of management, which amounts more than US$ 11 billion. Efficient weed management is, therefore, vital for any crop production. Use of herbicides has become unavoidable due to increasing cost on labor and other constraints. However, indiscriminate use of herbicides has triggered herbicides resistance, residues, environmental problems and even health issues. Under this scenario, Government of India has proposed the ban on many pesticides including some of the herbicides also and floated the notification for public opinion. Present EC of Indian Society of Weed Science also discussed the issue in detail and made representation to Govt. of India to consider to lift the proposed ban on some of the herbicides, which are cheap and effective and still require sufficient scientific data on their deleterious effect in context to Indian situations. In my opinion, we weed scientists should also be judicious to give recommendations of integrated weed management rather of the sole herbicides to overcome the problem of weed resistance, residues and other issues.
Almost two years have passed since present EC took the charge of the Society. The whole EC worked in cohesive way, which has led to overall progress of the society. Publication of Indian Journal of Weed Science and ISWS News Letter are almost in time. Even during this ‘Worst Year’ about 50 scientists have joined the society as life member, which name you can see in the current News Letter. The term of present EC will be over by March 2021, therefore, we are committed to finish the election process before March so that rein of the ISWS could be handed over to new EC in April 2021 positively.
I again wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.