2 day seminar on soil health & biodiversity begins at SKUAST-K

Srinagar: A two-day national seminar on ‘Healthy Soils for Richer Biodiversity in North Western Himalayas’ was inaugurated on Tuesday at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar campus.
The seminar is being organised by SKUAST-K in collaboration with BhartiyaKissanSangh (BKS), ICAR-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) and SKUAST-Jammu under the sponsorship of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
The two-day seminar will discuss various soil health conservation measures in the ecologically fragile Himalayan region.
Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, J&K Government, AtalDulloo, was the chief guest and AkhilBhartiyaSangathanmantri of BKS, Dinesh Kulkarni was the guest of honour at the inaugural function. GC Gautam, Mahamanri-BKS, Ki, VC SKUAST-Jammu, Prof JP Sharma, VC, SKUAST-Kashmir, Prof NA Ganai, Dr PC Sharma, Director ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal and Dr OP Sharma, Director CITH Srinagar were among the dignitaries present at the occasion.
Director, Deans, Heads of Divisions of SKUAST-K, delegates from various agricultural universities and farmers from HP, Uttarakhand, Ladakh& Jammu & Kashmir were also present in the inaugural session.
Addressing the gathering, AtalDulloo said the prodigal and intensive farming in the country has resulted in extreme soil nutrient deficiencies and have almost rendered soils unresponsive to fertilizers, therefore, it is the need of the hour to adopt natural and organic farming. He also said the government is in the process of framing a holistic agriculture policy under the chairmanship of Dr ManglaRai, former DG of ICAR, in which the major focus is on the sustainable use of natural resources including soils.
Dinesh Kulkarni, AkhilBhartiyaSangathanMantri,- BKS, in his address said, that there is the urgent need of rejuvenation of soil health across the country. He said BKS is conducting such programmes throughout India under Suflam-2022 and the outcomes of such programmes will be compiled in a policy paper at the national level for the rejuvenation of soil health.
Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Kashmir, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai related the importance of soil health to the concept of ‘One Health’ saying that the health of soil is paramount for the health of plants, animals and humans.
Vice-Chancellor,SKUAST-J, Prof. J.P. Sharma highlighted the hazards of unsustainable soil management practices, nutrient mining, non-judicious use of fertilizers etc. in fragile ecosystem of North western Himalayas. He stressed on adoption of natural farming & organic farming to offset the effects of climate change.
During the seminar, a number session on various aspects of soil health, conservation of land and water resources and other related topics including ‘Conservation of soil and water through and agronomic and engineering measures in ecologically fragile Himalayan regions; Soil health improvement through exploration and utilization of soil, crop and natural biodiversity; prospects and challenges of organic and natural farming in temperate agro-ecologies; integrated farming systems (IFS) for promoting soil health through nutrient cycling in North Western Himalayas; and agricultural diversification for soil health improvement and livelihood security in Western Himalayas will be deliberated in detail.



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