Jammu: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST)-Jammu is hosting a 3-day Indian Ecological International Conference on “sustainable agricultural innovations for resilient agri-food systems” here from October 13, a varsity official said on Tuesday.
Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-Jammu Prof J P Sharma said the conference, which will be inaugurated by Union Minister Jitendra Singh, will discuss climate change and its impacts on agriculture.
“There will be five technical sessions and four poster sessions of the mega event. It is expected that 300 delegates from India and abroad will be participating in the event,” Sharma said.
He said an exhibition will also be held to demonstrate the innovative technologies generated by SKUAST-Jammu and various public and private sector agencies.
“Food security is a global issue affecting millions of people around the world and its effects have been worsened by the Covid pandemic. As the world population continues to grow, much more effort and innovation will be urgently needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food,” he said.
The vice chancellor said responding to this challenge requires a holistic view of the agriculture sector to develop sustainable, productive and resilient systems for food production, processing and distribution in order to meet the growing demand in India and globally.
He said the sustainable development goal to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” recognises the inter linkages among supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small farmers, promoting gender equality, ending rural poverty, ensuring healthy lifestyles and tackling climate change.
“Land, healthy soils, water and plant genetic resources are key inputs into food production, and their growing scarcity in many parts of the world makes it imperative to use and manage them sustainably.
“Boosting yields on existing agricultural lands, including restoration of degraded lands, through sustainable agricultural practices would also relieve pressure to clear forests for agricultural production,” he said.
Sharma underlined the need for wise management of scarce water through improved irrigation and storage technologies, combined with development of new drought-resistant crop varieties.
“The sustainability of global food production will depend on our ability to innovate and become much more climate-resilient,” he added.