Workshop on Agri-Food Systems in Indian Himalayan Region held at ICAR CITH

Experts discuss climate impact, research collaboration, development strategies for sustainable agriculture

SRINAGAR: A one-day workshop on Agri-Food Systems in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) was organized on Monday at the Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) in Srinagar. The event brought together a host of scientists, national directors, and department heads from prestigious agriculture and allied research institutions.
The workshop was graced by Prof. (Dr.) Nazir Ahmad Ganie, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-Kashmir, as the chief guest, while S.K. Chaudhari, Deputy Director General of National Resource Management (NRM) from New Delhi, chaired the event. M.K. Verma, Director of CITH, served as the organizing secretary.
Inaugural Session Highlights:
During the inaugural session, Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganie provided a comprehensive overview of the possibilities and opportunities for creating a roadmap focused on economic development and food security in the Himalayan ecosystem. He emphasized the critical role of collaborative efforts in achieving these goals.
Dr. S.K. Chaudhari highlighted the workshop’s importance and outlined strategic development possibilities for the Indian Himalayan Region. He underscored the necessity of addressing challenges in crop science, horticulture science, natural resource management, animal husbandry, fisheries, and other allied sectors to boost the region’s economy.
Presentations and Discussions:
Directors from 13 ICAR Institutes located in the Indian Himalayan Region presented concept notes aimed at developing a sustainable and strategic roadmap. Dr. M.K. Verma presented project proposals for crop diversification of temperate fruit crops and the promotion of nut crops to reduce imports and increase export possibilities. The event saw representation from all temperate states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and the Leh region.
Climate Change Impact and Research Collaboration:
Dr. S.K. Chaudhari stressed the importance of addressing the diverse issues faced by the Indian Himalayan Region, which stretches from Kashmir to the Northeast states like Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. He highlighted the visible impacts of climate change, such as landslides, heavy rainfall, and loss of biodiversity. Emphasizing the need for ongoing research, he advocated for a consortium or partnership mode of research to tackle the challenges posed by climate change.
Future Research Directions:
The workshop participants agreed to work on forming a base paper for research in the Himalayan region. This base paper will guide future research efforts, with funding from ICAR, participating institutions, state governments, and private investments. The discussions aimed at identifying key areas for research collaboration and development strategies to enhance the region’s agricultural sustainability and economic growth.
Workshop Outcomes:
The workshop concluded with a collective commitment to give new direction to agricultural development in the Indian Himalayan Region. Participants aimed to bolster the region’s economy and achieve self-sufficiency through comprehensive research and development initiatives in horticulture, crops, and fisheries. The research projects will receive funding and support from ICAR and other stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the strategies discussed.
The event marked a significant step towards sustainable agriculture and economic development in the Indian Himalayan Region, reflecting the collaborative spirit and dedication of all participants.

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