Rubber Board launches online clinic

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Kottayam: The Rubber Board has launched a new web-based Distance Diagnostic Information System (DDIS), the ‘Rubber Clinic’ to help the farmers in crop disease management. 

Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia inaugurated the online clinic at the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) Campus at Puthuppally, Kottayam on January 9, 2010. Speaking at the function he said, “India could come to the forefront of natural rubber producing countries because our small growers are much ahead in adoption of new technologies in their field.” He also congratulated the team of the Institute who developed the online facility for the first time in any of the rubber producing countries.

Mr. Sajen Peter, Chairman, Rubber Board presided over the function and Dr. James Jacob, Director (Research) introduced the clinic. A team led by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Dy. Director (Pathology), Mr. Thomson Abraham, Research Fellow and Mr. Biju, Assistant Director (Systems) has developed the facility.

The Clinic, which forms a part of the Board’s website is an interactive portal. The Rubber Clinic is expected to help the farmers to a great extent by accurate and timely diagnosis of diseases / pests and timely adoption of suitable control measures essential for a cash crop like rubber. This will help to maintain and improve the productivity of the trees and to increase the net income of the farmers. RRII has identified and developed suitable control / management strategies for each pest and disease. But in many cases, growers find it difficult to diagnose the problem in time.

Farmers can consult the photographs of the disease symptoms along with the descriptions and remedial measures uploaded in web-pages, to diagnose their problem on their own and adopt the appropriate control strategies. As it’s online, the system can be made used of round the clock. If, in any case, the grower finds it difficult to diagnose the problem from the details already available on the clinic site, digital images of the problems in the field can be uploaded on the site along with the descriptions.  Experts from the RRII, in turn, will identify the problem and appropriate recommendations will be given, back to the grower. The recommendations will be sent to the grower either through email, or as SMS to his mobile phone.

There is provision for online live chatting with scientists / experts from 2 pm to 3 pm every working day. The user can also fix an appointment with the expert through the web. The Rubber Clinic will periodically organise group chatting on contemporary issues such as disease outbreaks etc. which will be advertised in the Clinic web pages well in advance.  Rubber Producers’ Societies also could make use of the facilities of the clinic. The researchers can also benefit from the archived DDIS database of the clinic as resources for research programmes.

The Rubber Board is a statutory body constituted by the Government of India, under the Rubber Act 1947, for the overall development of the rubber industry in the country.

Kerala IT News

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