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New Delhi, July 24 (ANI): The Amity School of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (ASNRSD) organized a two-day national workshop on “Climate Change Impact, Mitigation and Adaptation for a Sustainable Horticulture” at Amity University, Sector 125, Noida.

The workshop aimed to provide a platform for exchange of views among the experts to set a road-map for adaptation options towards resilience in horticulture crops and future strategies.

The workshop was inaugurated by Chief Guest Prodipto Ghosh, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary MoEF, Distinguished Fellow and Director, Earth Sciences and Climate Change, TERI; N.K. Krishna Kumar, DDG ( Hort.), Indian Council of Agriculture Research; Prof. B.K.P. Sinha , Advisor, ASNRSD;Sunil Saran, Vice President, Amity Science Technology and Innovation Foundation; J.C. Kala, Advisor, Amity Institute of Global warming and Ecological Studies and Dr. Indrani Chandrasekharan ,Director, ASNRSD.

Sharing his views on horticulture in India, N K Krishna Kumar said that horticulture is a rising enterprise which contributes nearly 30 percent to original GDP and last year, horticulture production for the first time, was more than agricultural production since Independence.

Dr. Krishna emphasized that the impact of climate change and global warming have become a matter of grave concern for the sustainable horticulture development. He mentioned that environmental conditions such as increase in temperature, variability of rainfall and cyclonic patterns are causing adverse effect on the production. He apprised that price rise of commodities are due to the crop destruction caused by frequent rains, cyclones or other natural calamities.

Dr. Krishna informed that Apple farming is an important activity in Indian Horticulture and it is being affected due to increase in atmospheric temperature. He outlined that there is a lack of research in the area of Horticulture in order to determine the impact of climate change on it.

Dr. Krishna called for capacity building and awareness of the researchers, students, policy planners and farmers working in the area of horticulture which is the need of the hour.

Encapsulating the link between climate change and horticulture, Prodipto Ghosh said that Climate change, a global phenomenon, has attracted attention to mitigate adverse impacts on horticulture, considering the production level in tonnes in India. He added that the entirety of human existence depends on six inches of top soil. Air Pollution and other harmful adulterations in urban areas affect the health of entire ecological system. Hence, the scale of the challenges posed by climate change requires urgent action. Dr. Prodipto apprised that Climate change is allied to two aspects, mitigation and adaptation. He stressed that it is important to understand the impact and develop relevant adaptation strategies to sustain the productivity and profitability of horticulture crops in the climate change scenario.

Addressing the gathering, B K P Sinha said, “India is a land with diverse soil and climate which provides perfect conditions to grow a variety of horticulture crops which cover nearly 11.6million hectares area with an annual production of 91 million tones. The magnitude of climate change impact depends on the region and its location, still climate change is expected to impact adversely on Indian agricultural productivity.”

Dr. Sinha opined that proper strategies had to be envisaged for saving horticulture and called upon the researchers, students, policy planners, horticulturists and farmers to identify risks and create adaptation options for resilience in horticultural crops.

Naresh Kumar, Principal Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute briefed the participants on topic “Climate change sends India’s Apple farmers up the Himalayas” and said that Apples in Himalayan foothills are seeing the worst effect of climate changes.

He further added that due to rising temperature, Apple cultivation in low altitudes has reduced by 77 percent in Solan between 1981 and 2007. He apprised that the most visible change for farmers has been in snowfall which shapes the apple crop and majority of farmers admitted delay in apple’s harvesting period. He mentioned that farmers of lower altitudes are unable to adapt to erratic weather conditions which is affecting the production. Dr. Kumar averred that in the light of global warming, researchers should give more emphasis on development of heat and drought- resistance crops.

During the session, M K Reddy, Head, Division of Plant Pathology, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research apprised on changing virus disease scenario in Horticultural crops due to climate change. Dr. Reddy informed that there has been an increase of 2 percent in new viruses in crops which have developed due to changing climatic conditions. He stressed that the impact of climate change has resulted in decrease of production of quality food and nutrition. Dr. Reddy remarked that many insects and viruses are adopting to the climate change with most them in Asia which resulted in increase to frequency of application of pesticides.

During the two day workshop, various topics were deliberated during the technical sessions including “Climate Change Impact, Mitigation and Adaptation”; “Climate Change and Its Effect on Horticulture and Livelihood”, “Mitigation and Adaptation Measures” and “Institutional Mechanism and National Plan” amongst others.

During the workshop, participants posed various questions pertaining to mitigation and adaptation strategies, new crop model and virus control which were efficiently addressed by the speakers.

The workshop was attended by more than 100 researchers, horticulturists, forest officers, horticulture officers and students. (ANI)

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