Regional consultation meeting in response to the Wheat Blast epidemic in Bangladesh Kathmandu, Nepal

26-27 June, 2016

In February 2016 BARI scientists notified the government and later reported that wheat blast, a new wheat disease for Asia, has appeared in Bangladesh. A disease infecting over 15,000 ha of wheat raised grave concerns among national, regional and international agriculture communities and posed “a potential threat to global food security”.

Workshop: Key stakeholders in the wheat production chain, including researchers, extension workers, and policymakers from South Asia, CIMMYT, and advanced research institutes, along with donors, met in Nepal to develop and implement an action plan to elucidate, manage, and mitigate the threat of wheat blast in coming wheat crop cycles.A two day regional consultation workshop with participation of international experts was organized by BARC/BARI/WRC and CIMMYT with support from USAID and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) on July 26‐27 in Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the recommendations from the emergency task force to be implemented in Bangladesh. In addition, the workshop reviewed and suggested with national and international experts a collective set of mid‐term and long term actions to combat and manage the disease. A sustained collective action plan and research investment is urgently required for the durable control of the disease and avert the potential risk for the region.

The key objectives of the workshop were:

  1. To discuss the short term recommendations of the committee to be implemented in Bangladesh to mitigate and control the disease before the start of next cropping season
  2. Identify specific research activities to be addressed in Bangladesh in epidemiology, integrated disease management, agronomy and screening for resistance of elite wheat materials
  3. Propose a set of collective activities to be parts of a long term multi‐partners and international breeding effort for durable resistance against MoT
  4. Build the capacity of farmers, scientists, extension in Bangladesh and South Asia and organize the disease surveillance to equip the stakeholders against this new threat

On behalf of Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat (DGGW), Dr. Maricelis Acevedo – Science Director, DGGW and Dr. Vijay Paranjape (from Sathguru) – Project Manager, DGGW South Asia attended this workshop.

Dr. Vijay Paranjape
Lead – Innovation Advisory @ Sathguru