A National Seminar on ‘Fruit production in Eastern Tropical Region of India: Challenges and Opportunities’ was organized by the Central Horticultural Experiment Station (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar during 24-26 March, 2022 in collaboration with the Society for Promotion of Horticulture, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru in a virtual mode. The aim of the seminar was to devise a roadmap for the development of fruit industry in eastern tropical region through deliberations and recommendations. The inaugural function was graced by Dr. A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General, (Hort. Sci.), ICAR, New Delhi, Prof. D. P. Ray, Chancellor, Siksha ‘O’ Anushandhan (Deemed to be University) Bhubaneswar, Dr. P. K. Agarwal, Vice Chancellor, OUAT, Bhubaneswar, Dr. V. Pandey, ADG (Hort. Sci.), ICAR New Delhi, Dr. B. N. S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru and Shri S. K. Subudhi, Addl. Director, Horticulture, Govt. of Odisha. Directors of ICAR Institutes, RAC members of ICAR-IIHR, Heads of the Divisions and participants from different ICAR Institutes and Universities joined through virtual as well as offline mode. In his presidential remarks, Dr. A. K. Singh, shared his vision on the development of fruit industry in the eastern tropical region of India. He put emphasis on the judicious use of resources to promote sustainability in fruit production and enhancing income of the farmers. There is a huge scope of entrepreneurship development in horticulture sector as it is the most vibrant sector in agriculture, he added. He also highlighted the scope of export of high value fruit crops particularly in SAARC countries. Prof. D. P. Ray highlighted the importance of crop diversification owing to the prevalence of different agro-climatic zones. He further added that efficient marketing channel was the key to enhance income of growers. Dr. P. K. Agarwal highlighted the importance of post-harvest management including processing and value chain management in fruit crops for the development of the sector in the region. Dr. V. Pandey highlighted the importance of genetic diversity in fruit crops for ecological sustainability and nutritional security. At the outset, Dr. B. N. S. Murthy welcomed the dignitaries and participants and highlighted the aim of the seminar. He called upon the young scientists and students to actively participate in the seminar and share research findings through presentations. Sh. Subudhi, emphasized the schemes of horticulture for the benefit of farming community of the state. Dr. G. C. Acharya, Head CHES, highlighted the feasible technologies of CHES, Bhubaneswar for enhancing yield and quality of fruits. Dr. Kundan Kishore, Organizing Secretary, gave a glimpse of the technical sessions and highlighted the thematic areas to be covered in the seminar. The streaming of CHES, Bhubaneswar activities was displayed in the inaugural session. On this occasion, a ‘Souvenir cum Abstract Book’ and a Technical Bulletin on ‘Post-harvest Management in fruit crops’ were also released. A Post-harvest unit established with the financial support of RKVY, Govt. of Odisha was also inaugurated. A MOU was also executed between ICAR-IIHR and a progressive farmer, Sh. Bhimasen Patra, Puri for planting material production of Arka Kiran (guava). The inaugural function ended with a formal vote of thanks, proposed by Dr. M. V. Dhananjay, General Secretary, SPH, Bengaluru.
Technical program of the seminar was divided into nine sessions covering all the thematic areas such as generic diversity, crop improvement, plant propagation, climate change, sustaining yield, resilience in horticulture, organic farming, plant protection, post-harvest strategy and produce management. There were 191 presentations comprising of invited talks (36), lead lectures (23), oral presentations (85) and poster presentations (47). Scientists/students from 23 universities, 18 ICAR institutes, FSSAI, New Delhi and IIP, Mumbai participated in the seminar. Distinguished scientists of ICAR, Universities, FSSAI and IIP shared their views through talks. Opportunities were also provided to young scientists and PhD and MSc students to present their research findings through presentations. Plenary session was held on 26th March under the chairmanship of Dr. B. N. S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR. In his presidential remarks, Dr. Murthy emphasized the importance of farmer-centric technology for the development of horticulture. He opined that the recommendations suggested by the experts will promote future research as well as facilitate effective adoption of technologies. At the outset Dr. G. C. Acharya welcomed the chairman and participants. Dr. Kundan Kishore presented the cumulative report on technical sessions, whereas the rapporteurs of different sessions highlighted the recommendations. Dr. K. Madhavi Reddy, Vice President, SPH expressed her views on significance of seminar for the benefit of farmers. Participants also shared their feedbacks. Dr. Manas Ranjan Sahoo, Co-organizing secretary announced the best oral and poster presentation awards for the most deserving presenters. Seminar was ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Deepa Samant, Co-organzing secretary. The seminar was organized with the financial support of RKVY, (Post-harvest project), Govt. of Odisha.