Increase in surveillance activities in SAARC region through streamlined efforts and enhanced tool box
South Asia has the highest "wheat dependent" low income community in the world. Stem rust and blast are recognized as the most damaging disease of wheat in the region producing 19% of the world's wheat. In order to combat the potential threat the national research centers were geared up to track the real time movement of wheat diseases, generate disease incidence data and create an enabling environment to boost wheat research in the region through streamlined efforts and enhanced SAARC tool box deployed six years ago.
Recent data (2016-17) from the tool box has shown a significant increase in the data records captured in this region compared to previous years. This has been possible because of heightened awareness amongst the scientists and with the continuous capacity building through pre-season and in-season surveillance trainings organized by Sathguru in collaboration with National Wheat Research Institutes at various levels.
The model is helping partner institutes to be self-sufficient for generating, maintaining wheat disease surveillance data in national and global databases and exchanging real time information with stakeholders. The application have been widely deployed and competently being used by 95% of rust surveillance teams in the wheat fields of SAARC region.
The study will focus on how national research center's judicious decision of carrying out diligent surveillance during the season contributed to safeguarding wheat crops in their respective nations through increased vigilance on emergence of new races and targeted introduction of regionally resistant varieties. Further using this data scientist's can aim to strategize their wheat research for identification of resistant varieties and eventually resulting in increased productivity addressing food security of the region.