6th March 2016, Ludhiana
The third group discussion of the ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Fruits was organized at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (3-6 March 2016).
Dr. N.K. Krishna Kumar, Deputy Director General (Hort. Sci.), ICAR in his inaugural address highlighted the position and importance of Punjab state in Indian agriculture with respect to production. Further, he highlighted the importance of vision 2050 and 2030 for Indian states in general and Punjab, in particular. He also emphasized the importance of increase in productivity based on sustainability in each agro-climatic zone.
Dr. Kumar also suggested taking up measures to mitigate of post harvest losses in fruits based on the compiled market intelligence. Highlighting the need for ensuring chemical-free agriculture products, Dr Kumar emphasized the importance of studies in bio-accumulation, application of ecological principles, and package of practices for organic horticulture for all states in general and Sikkim and Kerala in particular.
He also urged investigation into reasons for lack of processing to the extent required despite production in citrus, formulating a policy decision on production of good quality planting material only in shadenet and poly-house conditions, considering the need for timely advisories on various production aspects of fruits based on anticipation of changes in weather, completing trait-specific characterization by using marker-assisted selection and expanding the GM rootstocks and clonal repository of horticulture crops at ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi.
Shri. Suresh Kumar, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department, Agriculture, Water Supply and Sanitation, Government of Punjab emphasized the need for crop diversification from grain crops to fruits and vegetables in Punjab.
Presiding over the function, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, PAU, Ludhiana emphasized the importance of breeding for desired traits, exploitation of available germplasm for variety development, rootstock breeding, ensuring canopy management, improving the nutritional value of fruits, maintaining a field gene bank and quarantining.
Dr. Prakash Patil, Project Coordinator (Fruits), presented the progress of work done at 42 centres across the country on nine fruit crops, namely mango, Citrus, banana, guava, litchi, grapes, papaya, sapota and jackfruit.During the four-day event, research achievements during 2014–15 and the research programme for the mandate fruit crops for the year 2016–17 of AICRP on fruits was finalized.
Senior Officials from ICAR Headquarters and SAUs; Directors, Heads of Divisions & Scientists from Institutes of ICAR and 165 delegates attended the group discussion.
Four publications—“Insect and Mite Pests of Citrus in India,” “Integrated Pest Management of Banana and Plantain in 5 local languages,” “Neembu Vargeeya Falon Ke Vibhinn Keet Evam Unka Prabandhan” and Kinnow Panchang”—were released during the inaugural session of the group discussion.
(Source: Project Coordinator (Fruits), ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru)