Workshop on plant genetic resources held

NAHARLAGUN, Jun 11: A two-day workshop on ‘Conservation of plant genetic resources in Arunachal Pradesh’ began at the agriculture directorate here on 11 June.
Organized by the ICAR’s National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (ICAR-NBPGR), the workshop is aimed at creating awareness on strengthening the linkage with different stakeholders “to facilitate germplasm augmentation for ex situ conservation,” according to a release from the agriculture department.
It will also help in strengthening documentation of plant genetic resources in insufficiently-explored areas, besides generating a database, exploring the feasibility of on-farm management of crop diversity, prioritizing crops for augmentation and conservation, and developing policies for the future, among other things, it said.
About 100 participants, including officials from the agriculture, horticulture and forest departments, the NERIST, KVKs, custodian farmers, and NGO representatives from 12 districts of Arunachal are participating in the workshop.
The ICAR-NBPGR’s Plant Exploration and Germplasm Division Head, Dr SP Ahlawat, highlighted the need for “developing enhanced partnership and a roadmap for focusing on conservation of plant genetic resources in the state.”
ICAR-NBPGR Director Dr Kuldeep Singh spoke on the workshop’s theme, and ATARI Director (Zone VI, Guwahati) Dr AK Tripathi spoke on the role of KVKs in “transforming the vision of the NBPGR for Arunachal into a reality in the near future.”
Joint Secretary Kangki Darang advocated evolving a suitable strategy for preservation of indigenous plant genetic resources, and stressed the need for “improving the crop varieties through scientific intervention, keeping in view of the food, nutritional and health security of the people.”
Agriculture Director Anong Lego emphasized the need for further survey to identify plant genetic resources which are yet to be explored, while Horticulture Director Jhummar Rime highlighted the need for improving and documenting unidentified fruits and medicinal and aromatic plants in the state.
Agriculture advisor AK Purkayastha stressed on the need for “qualitative improvement of indigenous crop species of Arunachal, in conjunction with due emphasis on quantitative and nutritional improvement, and to open up a “consistent roadmap for climate resilient agricultural practices.”