Ganderbal, July 05: Central University of Kashmir (CUK) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah Tuesday said the rampant urbanisation has badly affected the agriculture sector as people are preferring employment in the government and private sector as it provides ‘financial stability and security.’
“Moreover, owing to low agricultural returns, the number of farmer suicides has been increasing lately across the country which is a cause of serious concern for the policy and decision-makers,” Prof. Farooq Ahmad Shah said in his presidential address while inaugurating the two-day national seminar on “Recent advances in science and technology for Agricultural Sustainability, RASTAS-2022” organized by the Department of Botany, School of Life Sciences, and N-SERB at Nunar Science campus here from Tuesday.
Scientist G, former advisor, Department of Biotechnology, GoI, Dr.Menakshi Munshi was the Guest of Honour, while Finance Officer, Prof. Fayaz Ahmed Nika was the Special Invitee. Controller of Examinations, Prof. Farooq Ahmad Mir, Dean School of Media Studies, Prof. Shahid Rasool, Dean, School of life sciences, Prof. Muhammad Yousuf, Dean School of Languages, Prof. Gayasud Din, Prof. Azra. N Kamili, Convener, Nodal Person, Deptt of Botany, Dr Abid Hamid Dar, Co-convener, Director Science Campus, faculty members, senior functionaries, research scholars and students were also present on the occasion. Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar joined the seminar proceedings through online mode.
In his online speech, Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, highlighted the pivotal role that Artificial Intelligence and Data Science may play in agricultural sustainability and climate change. He also stressed how forests have a role in overall agricultural development and the role of technology in making non-arable suitable for modern agriculture. Prof. Zargar also stated the role that such events may play in igniting young minds and scientists to explore newer avenues in the development of sustainable agriculture.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Menakshi Munshi highlighted the role that the agricultural sector in the Indian economy. She narrated how the increased population coupled with the environmental change pose a significant problem and stressed the conservation of the germplasm of native crops like apples and the developmentof collaborative projects addressing local issues.
Addressing the participants, Finance Officer, Prof. Fayaz Ahmed Nika stressed how agricultural sustainability is of concern not just for agriculturalists and scientists. but also has huge impacts on the common man, industrialists, and economists as well. Prof. Fayaz stated the importance of the supply-demand ratio of agricultural produce and how modern technology can bridge the gap between the two.
In her welcome address, Prof. Azra N Kamili deliberated on how the progress of scientific technologies like robotics, biotechnology, computer science, and genome editing can lead to a significant improvement in the yield of crops and fruits. She also stressed the challenges that we currently face in improving food quality and yield.
In his speech, Dr Abid Hamid Dar acknowledged the role played by Dr, Menakshi Munshi, in supporting different institutes of J&K working in the agriculture sector. He hailed the efforts of Prof. Azra. N Kamili in organising the 1st conference from the School of Life sciences and making it a success.
Dean School of Life Sciences, Prof. M Yousuf, deliberated upon the effects of climate change and mitigation on agricultural production of fruits and crops. He described the ill effects that pesticides and insecticides pose on human health and stressed the use of bio pesticides and nanotechnology in the control of different pests.
Organising Secretary of the seminar, Dr Rafiq Lone in his remarks, said Guaranteeing access to food for a growing human population–based on sustainability criteria and in the face of the climate change threat – is the main challenge for 21st-century agriculture. “The solutions require coordinated measures, and essentially, are dependent on the progress of science and the development of technologies to make more efficient use of available resources to increase crop yields,” he added.
Ayman Altaf conducted the proceedings of the inauguration while Dr Shaiesta Shah proposed the vote of thanks.