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Golden Jubilee International Salinity Conference Starts in Karnal

Golden Jubilee International Salinity Conference (GJISC-2019) (7-9 February, 2019) was inaugurated by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) at ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal.

Chander Mohan

Golden Jubilee International Salinity Conference (GJISC-2019) (7-9 February 2019) was inaugurated by H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary-General, African-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) at ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal. 

A total of 275 delegates from 17 countries, CGAIR institutions, ICAR institutes, SAUs, State Line Departments and farmers are participating in this event. NABARD, Indian Oil Ltd. (Panipat Refinery), Reliance Industries Ltd and Rex Polyextrusion Pvt. Ltd is the major sponsors of this event. 

The Conference is jointly organized by ICAR-CSSRI and Indian Society of Soil Salinity and Water Quality (ISSSWQ) Eng. El-Sreihin in his inaugural address said salinity and other abiotic stresses like fresh water scarcity are serious threats to food security and environmental sustainability; especially in the developing African and Asian countries witnessing rapid demographic expansion and soil degradation. He observed that climate change impacts have necessitated greater efforts than before for safeguarding the productive soils and waters from salinization. He exhorted the salinity researchers to work in close collaboration for sustainably managing salinity and related stresses plaguing global agriculture. 

Earlier, Dr. Masaru Iwanaga, President, Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Japan and Guest of Honour of the inaugural function said that salinity continues to pose serious risks to the livelihood security in the littoral areas of Asia-Pacific region. Problems caused by seawater intrusion and inundation in the coastal agricultural lands have particularly become noticeable in areas witnessing strong climatic variability and tsunami induced flooding in the last few years. He was optimistic that collaborative research between ICAR, India and JIRCAS, Japan could shortly culminate into promising solutions for managing the salt-induced land degradation. 

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai said that efforts towards developing the ‘Global Soil Salinity Map’ by the end of 2019 will be of immense practical utility to different stakeholders in tackling the sa linity problem in a better way for taking the people of saline areas out of poverty. 

Mr. Tomio Shichiri, FAO Representative in India appreciated the efforts of ICAR-CSSRI in bringing salt-affected soils under food production and wished that regional and international cooperation be strengthened for sustainable outcomes. 

Dr. S. K. Chaudhari, ADG (SWM), ICAR, New Delhi opined that reclamation and management of salt-affected lands is essentially an income generating activity because a unit investment leads to about 1.8 times more returns, which is much higher than returns generated from other problem soils. 

Dr. P. C. Sharma, Director, ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal and President, ISSSWQ in his welcome speech informed about major salinity management technologies developed by ICAR-CSSRI, Karnal in the last five decades leading to the reclamation and productive use of about 2.14 M ha area. 

During the inaugural function, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR); Dr. Masaru Iwanaga, President, JIRCAS and Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, DG, ICBA were conferred on the ‘Honorary Fellowship’ of the Indian Society of Soil Salinity and Water Quality, Karnal. 

Several publications were also released on this occasion. 

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