Research advances in prevention and management of aflatoxins are of vital importance to food safety: Dr. M K Naik, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka.
Dr. Naik was delivering the fifth Dr. Y R Sarma Memorial Lecture on “Crop protection during COVID pandemic with special reference to aflatoxins” organized by ICAR - Indian Institute of Spices Research in association with Dr Y R Sarma memorial trust. More than 200 participants from various parts of the country participated for the lecture. The programme was chaired by Dr. J Rema, Director, ICAR IISR. Dr. Naik said that the presence of aflatoxins in agricultural products can have significant implications for food safety while it can also cause trade disruptions at domestic and international level. Aflatoxins are a major food safety hazard in several spices like chillies, nutmeg etc, where exports are also significant. While elucidating the recent advances in aflatoxin management, Dr. Naik said that the increasing stringency on food safety aspects across the globe have brought these issues to the fore and countries like India should design and implement more efficient aflatoxin management strategies targeting both production and processing stages of high risk crops.
Dr. Santhosh J Eapen, Head, Division of Crop Protection, ICAR IISR moderated the session and Dr. Y Anuradha, daughter of Dr Y R Sarma, proposed the vote of thanks.
ABOUT DR. Y.R. SARMA
Dr. Y.R. Sarma, a doyen in plant pathology and a pioneer researcher in spice pathology, has been guiding force behind formulating and implementing various research programmes on spices in India and at international level, particularly in black pepper. He served as the Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, Kerala and was the National Project Coordinator of National Network on Phytophthora diseases of Horticultural Crops (PHYTONET). He was the Lead Consultant in FAO on black pepper and implemented the programme in Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka besides being associated with International Pepper Community (IPC), Jakarta.