HYDERABAD: Facilitated by the Government of Telangana and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the prestigious 32nd Congress of International Seed Testing Association was organised in the city on Monday.
The congress brought together eminent personalities in the field of agricultural studies from across south-east Asia and Africa, including bureaucrats and researchers.
The platform was provided to deliberate on issues pertaining to the production, storage, marketing of crop seeds and the need for the Indian, especially the Telangana government, to open up avenues to provide and develop an effective seed system for all other countries of the FAO.
This includes building an effective system for seed production, quality control and business development.
Speaking at the event, Telangana Assembly Speaker and former agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy lauded the State government’s effort to provide irrigation water from Kaleshwaram project and expressed his wish to make the State the seed bowl of not just India, but the world.
Taking into consideration the tremendous pressure on the agriculture industry to feed the ever-growing population with limited resources in the regime of climate change, Partha Sarathi, Principal Secretary to Government (A&C), said: “The global population reached over 7.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050. As a result, the global demand for food grains is likely to increase by 70 per cent. The ways in which plant breeding and seed production activities are organised will be pivotal in influencing the future of agriculture.”
He added that the quality of seeds assumed paramount importance in this context, acting as a catalyst in boosting agriculture productivity.“The global seed industry will have to take collective responsibility of making quality seeds available to farmers across the globe,” he stated.
‘Agriculture department ready to tackle climate change’
Speaking to Express, TS Seeds Development Corporation chairman Kondabala Koteswara Rao addressed the effects of climate change and prolonged heatwaves on the seed production in the State. “We understand the gravity of climate change and are well-equipped and prepared to help farmers in whatever possible way they would like us to. If the farmer wants to go for the short-duration crops due to delay in monsoons, the government is ready to provide the short duration crop seeds”