Prof. Swaminathan Unfolds Action Plan for Agro-Biodiversity Management in the Country

New Delhi, 26 May, 2010. .[हिन्दी]

‘Bring all bureau working for conservation of genetic resources on a single platform and a pan-bureau anticipatory plan may be put into action for effective management of agro-biodiversity in the country’, urged Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and former President of the World Conservation Union.  He was delivering inaugural address in the two-day ‘National Consultation on Agro-biodiversity Management’ at New Delhi. He was referring five national bureau working under the aegis of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on plant genetic resources, animal genetic resources, fish genetic resources, agriculturally important micro-organisms and agriculturally important insects. Another bureau on forest genetics resources under the ministry of environment, Government of India is also coming up very soon, he informed. Agriculture being the unifying force in conservation of bio-diversity may take the lead. He suggested that management efforts should focus on conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits.Highlighting the important role of ICAR in agro-biodiversity management, he emphasized the need of strengthening the infrastructure of ICAR and suggested establishment of gene cum seed bank in all the 128 agro climatic zones of the country. Hub and spoke model may be adopted with ICAR playing the role of hub. Besides conservation of plant species he also emphasized in-situ conservation of animal breeds.

Earlier, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, Department of Agriculture Research and Education and Director General, ICAR stressed upon the need of agro-biodiversity management to ensure sustainable food security for the future and elaborated the recent initiatives taken by the council in this direction. Council is providing a common platform for all the departments and agencies working in the area to discuss, interact and put-forth a long-term plan for effective management of biodiversity resources, he said. Council has taken specific steps and developed strategies for harmonizing the agro biodiversity management.

Dr. S.K. Dutta, Deputy Director General, Crop Sciences, ICAR appreciated the important work done by the different bureau of the council by undertaking collection, introduction, evaluation, documentation and conservation activities at par with international standards and suggested to focus on local issues concerned with conservation of agro-biodiversity.

Dr. R.B. Singh, Former Director, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, reiterated the importance of plurality and multi-functionality in agro-biodiversity system and suggested an integrated approach to tackle the issues with all stake holders on a common platform.
Organized by the ICAR and its five bureau, to commemorate the International Year of Biodiversity,the National Consultation on Agro-biodiversity will deliberate upon the current scenario, priorities and road map for management of genetic resources in respective areas together with the current emerging issues. The recommendations are expected to lead the country towards harnessing greater benefits from efficient management of agro-biodiversity for the present and future generations.

(Source: NAIP sub project on Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA)