A One-day “V Rabi Group Meet of All India Coordinated Research Network on Potential Crops” was inaugurated today By the Vice Chancellor Dr B.S. Dhillon at the Wheat Auditorium, Punjab Agricultural University. The Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics, PAU organized this meeting under the aegis of ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi. About 50 eminent experts from across the country participated in the event. In his inaugural address, Dr Dhillon highlighted the need for promoting and prioritizing the cultivation of potential crops, particularly Quinoa and Grain Amaranth, as they have the potential to serve as an integral component of crop diversification. He emphasized that these crops with high nutritional value and health benefits can play a major role in crop diversification through introduction of new cropping pattern. Besides, he apprised the participants of linking the farmers’ produce with the processing and industrial sector as this is extremely essential for reaping the profits at farm level. He further emphasized that based on the regional importance and adaptive advantage; these crops have to be prioritized for research in different parts of the country as they can play a significant role in eradication of malnutrition.
Dr D.K. Yadava, Assistant Director General (Seeds), ICAR, New Delhi was the Chairman of the inaugural function. He highlighted the national status of potential crops and the diversity of processed products available in the market. Dr Yadava highlighted that the network is conducting research on 17 food and fodder crops of industrial value through different centres in diverse agro-climatic zones of the country. So far 48 varieties in different crops have been released, besides identifying desirable genetic donors and accumulate indigenous and exotic germplasm collection. He also urged the participating scientists to initiate exhaustive research on potential crops and their quality traits, besides documenting success stories of the growers.
Dr Kuldeep Singh, Director, ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) said these crops, besides being nutritionally better, are well adapted in different and adverse environments. Dr B.S. Phogat, Network Coordinator, NBPGR presented the report on potential crops and discussed the various research and development activities on these crops in India. Dr N.S. Bains, Director of Research, PAU welcomed the delegates and highlighted the growing importance of pseudocereals such as grain amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat because of the health benefits and medicinal properties associated with them. At this occasion, a progressive farmer, Dr Jagmohan Singh, cultivating quinoa also shared his experiences regarding the production and processing of the crop. Dr Sarvjeet Singh, Incharge (Pulses) proposed the vote of thanks.