XIII Agricultural Science Congress, held at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, from 21–24 February, 2017.

India’s success in enhancing food production towards food security is nonpareil and led to the coining of the Green Revolution.   The phenomenal successes of improved farming technologies have made India one of largest producers of food grains, vegetables, spices, plantation crops, milk and meat. The country is poised achieve a similar feat with respect to pulses and oilseed production which, due to various challenges, has been slow to emerge.   The resounding success of green revolution in the country has also had its negative impacts in terms of environmental degradation, loss of forest cover and biodiversity, land use changes, desertification and depletion of natural resources. The burgeoning population of the country required farm productivity to grow at a rate of three percent – a very difficult though not impossible task.  The scenario appears grimmer when viewed in the context of global climate change.  The country has been witness to extreme weather events and vagaries of monsoon like never before and 2016 has been the 2016 has been the warmest year worldwide.  The decline in farm productivity in the last two years is already posing a serious threat to the food and nutritional security of the country despite the good buffer stock.   The increase in temperature over the last thirty years has been estimated at about 0.85 ˚C and even this ‘marginal’ increase has begun to impact agriculture and human health.  The possible impacts of climate change on agriculture is hard even to imagine if the projected increase in average global temperature of about 3.0 ˚C in the next twenty years is realized.  Immediate steps are needed therefore to develop strategies, policies and actions for developing climate adaptation and mitigation technologies for agriculture.  Keeping this in view the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences chose the focal theme of Climate Smart Agriculture for the XIII Agricultural Science Congress jointly organized with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru from 21-24 February, 2017.   

The Agricultural Science Congress comprised ten Plenary Talks, 77 Invited Lectures, Six Satellite Meetings, three Panel Discussions and 365 by delegates.  The XIII ASC was divided into following six themes and sub-themes. 

Theme 1: Climate Change and Climate Variability

        Subtheme 1.1   Assessment and Prediction of Climate Change
        Subtheme 1.2   Impact on Food and nutritional Security
        Subtheme 1.3   Vulnerability of Farming Systems

Theme 2: Adaptations to Climate Change

        Subtheme 2.1  Genetic Enhancement of Field & Horticultural Crops
        Subtheme 2.2   Input Use Efficiency & Precision Farming Technologies
        Subtheme 2.3   Water Management & Security
        Subtheme 2.4   Adaptations of Livestock , Poultry and Fisheries

Theme 3:  Mitigating Climate Change

        Subtheme 3.1   Emission & Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases
        Subtheme 3.2   Energy Conservation
        Subtheme 3.3   Carbon Sequestration
        Subtheme 3.4   Forewarning & Management Strategies for Pests & Diseases

Theme 4:  Farmers’ Innovation for Climate Change

        Subtheme 4.1  Farmers’ Innovation and Perception
        Subtheme 4.2  Gender/Institutional and Support Mechanisms for Climate Change

Theme 5:  Capacity Building for Climate Resilient Agriculture

Theme 6:  Agricultural Policy and Planning

The themes/subthemes were discussed under separate sessions which were held concurrently in three venues on the GKVK campus of UAS, Bengaluru.   

The XIII Agricultural Science Congress was inaugurated by His Excellency, the Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka, Sri. VajubhaiVala, at 11.00 am on the 21st February at the Babu Rajendra Prasad International Convention Centre, GKVK campus, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.  Dr. S. Ayyappan, Former Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR welcomed the dignitaries and participants.  Dr. Panjab Singh, President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, explained briefly the objectives and expected outcomes of the XIII ASC.  The Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Karnataka, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda appreciated the University and NAAS for arranging this meet in Bangalore and for bringing together the experts from all over the country and abroad to share their experiences on climate change.  He emphasized the importance of deliberating on the effects of climate change on agriculture. Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member, Niti Ayog, emphasized the need for mainstreaming all developmental programmes in tune with the climate change impacts.  The Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Dr. H. Shivanna proposed the vote of thanks.

A publication titled ‘Agriculture under Climate Change: Threat, Strategies and Policies’ comprising articles by leading scientists of the country reviewing the state-of-art on climate change and agriculture in the country on was released during the inauguration.  In addition to this the ‘Book of Abstracts’ and a Special Issue of the Mysore Journal of Agricultural Sciences, focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture were also released. The Detailed proceedings of the XIII Agricultural Science Congress including the recommendations are being compiled by NAAS, New Delhi and UAS-B and will be released shortly as a joint publication.