The Regional Consultation on ‘Facilitating the use of microbial pesticides in South Asia’ was organized by SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Bangladesh, ICAR-NBAIR, India and CABI-South Asia at ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bengaluru from 21 – 23 August, 2017. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. T. M. Manjunath, a veteran biocontrol and IPM specialist, Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, Executive Secretary, APAARI, Bangkok, Dr. Chandish R. Ballal, Director, ICAR-NBAIR, Dr. W.A.R.T. Wickramaarachchi, Expert, Policy, SAC, and Dr. Malvika Chaudhary, CABI by lighting a lamp. Dr. Chandish R. Ballal, Director, ICAR-NBAIR addressed the gathering and welcomed the SAARC delegates to the meeting. The workshop started with the introductory speech given by Dr. W.A.R.T. Wickramaarachchi, Senior Program Specialist, SAARC Agriculture Centre. He gave an overview about the genesis of SAARC Agricultural Centre from its establishment to the full-fledged SAARC agricultural Centre in 2007, which is the premier institute in South Asia for sustainable Agricultural Development in SAARC countries. He stressed the importance about the utilization of microbial pesticides in the SAARC countries. Dr. T.M. Manjunath shared the mandate of SAARC and pointed out the challenges to be addressed like IPR issues, regulatory hurdles, political interference and duplication of research within and across countries and called for efforts to develop climate resilient biocontrol agents and genetic improvement of biocontrol agents.  READ MORE