Srinagar: Three days National Conference on “Managing Weather and Climate Risks in Agriculture – Adapting Crops to Increased Climate Variability and Uncertainty” w.e.f 24-26 March 2022 was inaugurated by Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Hon’ble Lt. Governor, J&K today at SK University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir.
The Conference is being organised by SKUAST-Kashmir in collaboration with Association of Agrometeorologists (Anand Gujrat). The Conference is spread over around 11 different themes intended to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers, environmentalists and user community to exchange and share the knowledge of climate change and to disseminate the information to farmers and societal programmes.
The Conference is being at tended by about 300 delegates from across the country which include scientists, University Officers, Officers of line departments, research scholars, leading progressive farmers, etc. Shri R.R. Bhatnagar in his inaugural address expressed the need for better preparedness to the climatic disasters and extreme weather events in the coming years as these have the potential to reduce the food production drastically.
Shri Bhatnagar stressed upon the governments and societies to do all that is required to reverse the changing climatic trends. He congratulated the organisers for conducting the Conference on the very important topic of climate change and expressed hope that the deliberations will culminate in framing policy recommendations for managing the climate change.
Prof. J.P. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu in his address highlighted that per capita land, water availability is fast dwindling and under such a situation resource poor farmers are more vulnerable to the climatic vagaries. The higher temperature associated with other biotic stresses will drastically reduce the yield of wheat and other major crops, Prof. Sharma said. He impressed on the scientists to develop technologies that are more water and nutrient efficient so as to cope up with the climatic stress and develop climate smart societies.
Prof. Nazir A. Ganai, Vice Chancellor of the SKUAST-Kashmir in his remarks elaborated about the achievements of the University in the recent past. Prof. Ganai sensitised all the stakeholders about the vulnerability and fragility of the Himalayan agro-ecosystems to the natural disasters and climatic changes and spoke about the role Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IOT, Remote Sensing and GIS based technologies in the development of precision and climate smart agriculture. He urged the scientists to frame their research commensurate to the national slogan of organic and natural farming and popularising the inputs and technologies among the farmers developed by the University.
Prof. Ganai informed about the improvement of the local crop varieties and animal breeds and their adaptation to the local climatic conditions and focussed on the development of knowledge based and technology driven society by encouraging innovation, skill and entrepreneurship development and playing a lead role in framing the National Education Policy-2020 in agricultural fields. Prof. Vyas Pandey-President AAM in his remarks lauded the efforts of SKUAST-Kashmir for organising the Conference and choosing appropriate themes when the country is witnessing early summer heat. Dr K. K Singh, Head, IMD, New Delhi informed the gathering that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has increased significantly over the past few decades and emphasised on the importance global dynamic weather models in precise short, medium and long term weather forecasting and linking the same with agro-advisory services of the country.
On the occasion, awards were distributed among the distinguished scientists, students and AAM fellows for their significant contributions to agrometeorological research. Besides, two publications covering the relevant topics were released on the occasion. Prof. Sarfaraz A. Wani, Director Research, while welcome the participants highlighted the importance of the Conference with regard to threats and risks posed by the climate change visa a viz food and nutritional security. Prof. Raihana H. Kant, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Organising Secretary of the Conference presented the vote of thanks.