CS inaugurates National seminar-cum-workshop on orchidology

Speakers stress on need to promote floriculture in isles
Report by: 
Agencies
Port Blair
15 Feb 2019

The three day long National Seminar cum Workshop on “Recent Advances on Orchidology with Special Emphasis on Biology, Climate Change, Conservation and Commercialization of Floriculturally and Therapeutically important Taxa” got underway in the Conference Hall of Central Islands Agriculture Research Institute (CIARI) here on Friday. The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Mr Chetan B Sanghi inaugurated the workshop as the chief guest. The workshop is being organized jointly by The Orchid Society of India (TOSI), Department of Botany, Punjab University, Chandigarh and NHM HVADA, Directorate of Agriculture Port Blair and Botanical Survey of India (BSI) Kolkata. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Mr Tarun Coomar, Secretary (Agri), Mr Krishan Kumar, Addl. Director General (Hort.), ICAR New Delhi, Dr. T Janakiram, Secretary TOSI, Prof. (Dr.) Pramila Pathak, President TOSI, Prof. (Dr.) A K Bhatnagar, Director CIARI, Dr. A Kundu and Dr. Lal Ji Singh, Scientist In-charge, BSI Port Blair were present on the occasion.
Inaugurating the workshop, the Chief Secretary said that floriculture is an area, which needs to be promoted in the Islands. The Islands’ climate is suitable for growing flowers and it can be taken up at large scale so it can fetch additional income to the farmers, he said mentioning that the flowers presently sold in the market are brought from mainland. Acknowledging that CIARI is performing many significance works in promoting agriculture in the Islands, the Chief Secretary stressed for promoting cultivation of tropical fruits and flowers to meet the demand of local market as also to export them instead of importing from mainland. There is need to exploit the Islands’ vast potential and grow more orchids for marketing as also for export, he said and assured the Administration’s support towards economic activities, which benefit farmers and local entrepreneurs like creating local products unique to the Islands for visitors.
Underlining the need for introducing sea weed and open sea cage culture, the Chief Secretary advised the institutes such as CIARI and Agriculture Department to extend all assistance to societies, desiring to take up these activities in the Islands. He urged the TOSI authorities to provide guidance and technology for development of orchid reserve in the Islands and advised the PCCF to identify a suitable area for developing an orchid reserve, which will be important from tourism point of views also.
The Chief Secretary expressed gratitude to TOSI for organizing the workshop and suggested that whatever recommendations emanated from the workshop should be taken forward for implementation. He also suggested for organizing exposure tour for the farmers to mainland to enable them gain knowledge and experience from their counterparts on the mainland.
The Chief Secretary also released a book, ‘International Journal of The Orchid Society of India’, a news letter, ‘The Orchid Newsletter’ and a Souvenir-2018-19 of the TOSI on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Janakiram gave details of the activities of the Horticulture Department of ICAR towards doubling the income of farmers and in providing employments. With the participation of farmers, ICAR is able to produce 350 million ton of food grains every year, he said. The Council also provides technology for cultivation of fruits, vegetable, flowers, spices etc., he said and appreciated TOSI for being the most vibrant society that functions in the country.
Prof. Promila Pathak dwelt at length on the TOSI activities in creating awareness and dissemination of information about Indian orchid besides organizing training for unemployed youth both men and women. She also informed about commercial value of orchids and the need to put in place, management for it’s conservation.
Highlighting CIARI’s activities in promoting agriculture in the Islands, Dr. Kundu informed that CIARI is extending all help to the Islands’ farmers by transferring new agriculture technology and the scientists are visiting farmers’ fields time to time. He informed that orchid has vast potential in the Islands and there is huge scope for its exploitation and commercialization. He also stressed the need for strengthening its conservation in the Islands.
Welcoming the gathering, Prof. Bhatnagar highlighted the importance of orchid, especially for insects like butterflies etc, the need to conserve it and the impact of climate change on the orchid plants. He suggested the Administration to establish orchid reserve to conserve Islands’ orchid which is rich in diversity.
The workshop is being attended by scientists, scholars, researchers and officers from different parts of the country. An Orchid Exhibition is also put up in the CIARI premises for the participants to apprise themselves of the Islands’ orchids.