20th November, 2015, New Delhi
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, in his inaugural address as Chief Guest said because of changing life style, food habits are also changing rapidly that ultimately cause encroachment over grassland and range land which is a matter of concern. In India, 80-100% of resource less rural population procures food, fodder, fuel and fiber for family from grassland like community land. Chief Guest emphasized that rural India is needed to be developed as a strong service sector, which will require large-scale trade centers and agricultural scientists. Honorable Minister also pointed out the lack of grassland and range database for development programs and to rejuvenate existing grasslands.
Prof. Murli Manohar Joshi, MP as a special guest delivered a lecture on challenges and opportunity in grassland sector and called for establishment of “Grassland Authority of India” to enhance the grassland development and productivity. He emphasized for harmonizing crop-water-livestock-soil- health-bio-diversity and ecological functions in context of grassland development.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary DARE and Director General, ICAR, in his address, said grassland protection is very important for the interest of rural, social and economical system. Government is contemplating on the free grazing grassland zone, fodder production, quality seeds, forage processing, and technological support for enhancing marginal farmers’ income through traditional and specific grassland and range.
Dr. David Miano Mwangi, Chairman of International Grassland Congress, in his address expressed his gratitude to India for hosting the Congress and added that it aims to bring all the concerned scientists, farmers and stakeholders together to share experiences to enhance knowledge and wisdom. Grassland and range play a very important role in procuring food, fodder and fiber for the rural family.
Dr. P. K. Ghosh, Director, ICAR-Folder and Grassland Research Institute, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of IGC assured that outcomes of this Congress will be added in the goal of IGC.
Dr. Panjab Singh, former Secretary, DARE and Chairman Steering Committee, in his address, urged to tackle the problem of endangered existence of tropical grasslands which are important for the existence of livestock.
Dr. R. S. Paroda, former Secretary, DARE and Honorable Guest of the Congress, in his address said for the protection of grassland and range, ‘Panchayat’ should be empowered because these are regarded as community assets.
23rd International Grassland Congress was held under the theme of ‘sustainable use of grassland and range for environmental balance, biodiversity and fodder production’. More than 500 scientists from 47 countries, farmers, NGOs and development officers participated in this event. This Congress was organized jointly by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Indian Range Management Society and ICAR-Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
The progressive farmers were felicitated for their achievements in the field of fodder and grassland.
Dr. Sunil Kumar, HOD of Crop Science, IFGRI, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh proposed vote of thanks.
Development of database of common property resource/grasslands; national program for rejuvenation of grassland; insurance and minimum price policy for fodder crops; national policy on feed and fodder including grassland management; policy on ban to burn crop residues and utilize as fodder; traditional grassland management, animal husbandry, and nomadism; developing intensive and extensive forage production with environment friendly technologies and adoption of mechanization; social and educational issues in managing degraded grasslands; policies affecting pastoralism and livestock production; emission of greenhouse gases from grasslands and mitigation actions; forests, Agro Forestry and wildlife - towards integrated, productive landscapes; seed production, storage, quality, testing, quarantine and marketing systems impact of market demands on grassland management and Animal Husbandry; alternative use of grasslands for medicinal plants, biofuel and wildlife products Public-private partnership in managing common property resources, etc.