SRINAGAR: Stressing J&K government for making adequate funds available to agriculture universities to carry research for quality seed development, a leading Indian crop scientist, Dr Swapan Kumar Dutta Thursday here said early maturing, climate independent and drought resistant varieties of crops need to be developed keeping in mind food and nutritional needs of the people in view of climate change.
Saying South East Asia is facing a major challenge of availability of quality seed, Dutta said seed encapsulates the past, present and the future of the whole agriculture scenario and food security of the people.
Dutta, was speaking here at a meeting of All India Coordinated Project (AICP)-National Seed Project (Crops) 2014 organized by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir (SKUAST), Shalimar.
“Food and nutritional need of the country has to be kept in mind before moving ahead in seed sector at national level keeping in view challenges posed by the climate change, early maturing and drought resistant varieties of crops needs to be developed, infrastructure facilities for seed analysis and storage needs to be strengthened across the country in order to reduce storage loss,” Dutta said, according a SKUAST-K spokesperson.
Vice Chancellor SKUAST, Tej Partap stressed the role of modern technology in research and its possibility to fight against hunger and poverty in the country in line with the policies adopted by the J&K State Government in reviving the seed supply chain.
Pratap said the impact of population pressure, economic opportunities, changing urban structure and receding land holdings are posing a new challenge for research organizations to create new linkages in order to harvest the full potential of the available technologies in national seed program.
He also highlighted the importance of seed availability to small and marginal farmers of the country to ensure economic prosperity. He said paradigm shift needs to be made in order to develop seeds for the future and harvest the potential of indigenous gene pool repositories available in the different crops in the country. More than 200 scientists working in the different research organizations in India are participating in the three-day meeting. Various dignitaries including, ADG (Seed) ICAR, Dr JS Chauhan, Project Director, Directorate of Seed Research, Mau, UP, Dr S Rajendra Prasad, Director CITH, Srinagar, Dr Nazeer Ahmad, Director Research, SKUAST-Kashmir, Dr Shafiq A Wani, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, Dr MY Zargar, Dean, Faculty of Horticulture, Dr FA Zaki, Registrar, SKUAST-Kashmir Dr Tasleem S Ganai and various Heads of Divisions and Stations were also present in the meeting.
Director Research, SKUAST-K, Prof Wani highlighted the significances of the Seed Research vis-a-vis conducting the Annual Group Meeting 2014.
Project Director, Directorate of Seed Research, Mau (UP), Dr S. Rajandra Prasad presented the achievement made under National Seed Project (Crops) at National level and stressed on strengthening this programme in order to expand outreach and achieve identified targets under 12th Plan.
Three publications related to the Seed Research Program were also released on the occasion.