Two-day workshop of coordinated research project begins at IISR

Two-day workshop of coordinated research project begins at IISR

The two-day workshop of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices (AICRPS) which began at the ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) on Tuesday discussed the scope of the spices sector in the country and evaluated the major hurdles during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers at the workshop said that the spices sector in India was witnessing a steady growth in exports. The importance of technology outreach and trait specific adaptation of varieties was also emphasised at the workshop.

In his inaugural address, R. Chandra Babu, Vice Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University, said that giving more thrust to research could reduce pesticide use in spice crops so as to improve the export potential. Pesticide residue in cardamom was a major bottleneck for cardamom export and such issues could be addressed with more focus on organic cultivation of spices, he observed.

A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General of ICAR, said that the export demand of spices had risen at the global level. However, to improve productivity and export growth, the research institutions should actively engage with the farming community to sensitise them with the market scenario and the government policies, he said. .

Raigarh Centre of Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Raipur, was conferred with the best AICRPS centre award for the year 2019-20. The workshop also witnessed the release of seven extension publications and three technical bulletins.

Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey, assistant director general of ICAR, was the guest of honour at the inaugural session. Dr. N. Krishnakumar (chairman, Research Advisory Committee of IISR), Dr. Homey Cheriyan (director, Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development), Dr. Santhosh J. Eapen (project coordinator and director of IISR), Dr. Gopal Lal (Director, ICAR- National Research Centre on Seed Spices) and Dr. K. Nirmal Babu (former project coordinator and director ICAR-IISR and AICRPS) addressed the inaugural session.

The workshop will review the progress of various research projects and varieties in the pipeline. The programme will conclude on Wednesday.