Thursday, November 8, 2012



The farm experts from different parts of the country and world deliberated on various aspects of horticulture during the second day of 5th Indian Horticultural Congress on "Horticulture for Food and Environment Security," underway at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The technical sessions on global scenario of horticulture, new tools and novel biotechnological applications in horticulture, future research priorities and hi-tech interventions in horticulture; and mitigation and management of biotic and abiotic stresses in horticultural crops, were held. The speakers hailed from renowned agricultural institutions and organizations of Canada, Austria, Italy, Australia and Indian states like New Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

During the horticultural congress, the experts dwelt upon the research priorities in vegetable crops, floriculture, and tropical and sub-tropical fruits; present status of temperate horticulture; opportunities for urban and peri-urban horticulture in India; potential and scope of high-value vegetable crops for domestic and export markets. Besides, they shed light on micronutrient management in horticultural crops; climate change; and novel fungicides: prospects and limitations in horticultural crops.

Earlier, the foreign delegates highlighted the global horticulture initiative with emphasis on vision and development priorities, global development in micro-propagation and their scope in India, grafting-an effective tool for abiotic stress alleviation in vegetables and priorities for post-harvest management research in tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops. The farm experts also delved upon the future prospects of fruit biotechnology and scope of nanotechnology in horticulture.

The technical sessions were chaired by Dr Norman E. Looney, Principle Scientist Emeritus, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Dr V.L. Chopra, former Member, Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi; Prof. D.P. Ray, Vice-Chancellor, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Orissa; Dr M.L. Chadha, Consultant, Haryana Farmers Commission, Hissar, Haryana; Dr Gurbachan Singh, Chairman of Agricultural Scientists' Recruitment Board, New Delhi; and Dr S.M.P. Khurana, Director, Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Gurgaon, Haryana.

On the inaugural day, Dr Ashok Gulati, Chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, New Delhi, delivered Horticultural Society of India (HSI) foundation day lecture on the topic "From plate to plough: Building efficient and inclusive supply chains in horticulture."

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