IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

IPI Events: e-ifc No. 22, March 2010

IPI Events

 November 2009

IPI-OUAT-IPNI International Symposium on "Potassium Role and Benefits in Improving Nutrient Management for Food Production, Quality and Reduced Environmental Damages", 5-7 November 2009, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Bhubaneswar, India.
Jena, D., Organizing Secretary, IPIOUAT- IPNI International Symposium.

His Excellency the Governor of Orissa Sj. Muralidhar Chandakanta Bhandare delivering Inaugural Speech.
His Excellency the Governor of Orissa Sj. Muralidhar Chandakanta Bhandare delivering Inaugural Speech. Photo by OUAT.

IPI's third symposium in India was coorganized by The International Potash Institute (IPI), International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and Orissa University of Agriculture and
Technology (OUAT). Previous symposium's have been held in New Delhi in 2001 and in Ludhiana in 2006.

The main themes covered in this latest symposium were:

  • Nutrient management to meet challenges of food security.
  • Potassium and nutrient use efficiency.
  • Role of potassium and mineral nutrition in alleviation of stress.
  • The effect of quality and nutritional value of agricultural products on human health: the role of potassium.
  • Spatial variability of soil properties and site specific nutrient management (SSNM).
  • The role of extension in increasing agricultural productivity.
  • Potassium and the environment Nutrient mining and input output balances.

The International Symposium was inaugurated by His Excellency Governor of Orissa and Honorable Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Sri Muralidhar Chandakanta Bhandare Jee. Prof. D. P. Ray, Vice Chancellor OUAT and Chairman of the organizing committee presided over the Inaugural Session. Dr. N. Panda, Chairman WODC, Orissa and former Vice Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Mr. Hillel Magen, Director IPI and Dr. A. Johnston, Vice President IPNI were the Guests of Honor.

Inauguration ceremony of the symposium.
Inauguration ceremony of the symposium.
Photo by OUAT.

In his inaugural address, His Excellency Governor of Orissa welcomed the scientists from overseas, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Germany, Moscow, Sweden, Switzerland, the Philippines, Pakistan, and USA, as well as those from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes, State Agricultural Universities, State Agricultural Departments and the fertilizer industry in India who were participating in the symposium. His Excellency emphasized the need to increase food grain production in India. He also stated that soils are the most vital and precious natural resource for the existence of mankind, and should be protected from land degradation, environmental pollution and decline in crop productivity and sustainability.

Dr. N. Panda, Chairman Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) and former Vice Chancellor, Sambalpur University, in his welcome remarks thanked IPI, OUAT and IPNI for organizing this international symposium. In his speech he stated that India needs 315 million mt of food grain to feed a population of 1.4 billion by 2025. He suggested preparing an action plan for the management of acid soils for sustainable crop production.

Interaction of the scientists during the poster session. Photo by OUAT.
Interaction of the scientists during the poster session. Photo by OUAT.

Prof. D. P. Ray, Vice Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology and Chairman of the organizing committee, in his presidential address welcomed the delegates and said that India has made significant progress in agriculture in terms of growth in output and yields of many crops and commodities. Today, India is the largest producer of milk, fruits, cashew nuts, coconut and tea in the world and second largest producer of vegetables, sugar, rice, cotton and fish. According to the National Policy on Agriculture, India has committed to expand agricultural growth at a rate of 4 percent per annum comprising crops, horticulture, livestock, fisheries and forestry. The crop sector alone contributes 50 percent towards agricultural growth. However, in reality, the overall growth rate in agriculture has been declining from about 4 percent in the 8th plan to 2 percent in the 9th plan and further to about 1.8 percent in the 10th plan. The reasons for the decline in productivity are due to increasing pressure on land and water resources, decreases in soil health and increasing multi-micronutrient deficiencies, as well as a decrease in fertilizer use.

In the symposium, thirty-three papers from overseas scientists and fifteen from India were presented. Selected papers will be published in a special edition of the Plant and Soil Journal (2010). All papers will be included in the symposium's proceedings, edited by M.S. Brar. All presentations can be found on the IPI website.

Over 150 quality posters outlining research carried out in different parts of the world were presented under themes in two poster sessions. The following three posters were judged by the expert committee as the best posters presented at the symposium:

Cultural programme. Photo by IPI.
Cultural programme. Photo by IPI.
  • Effect of potassium levels and different sources on growth and yield of Pomegranate, by Amrutsagar, V.M., J.M. Waghmare, A.P. Patil, and S.V. Musale, Dept. of Soil Science & Agric. Chemistry, MPKV, Rahuri.
  • Potassium release characteristics of some alfisols of Orissa, by Das, P.K., S. Mohanty, A.K. Dash, and D. Jena, Dept. of Soil Science & Agric. Chemistry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar.
  • Effect of potassium application on NaCl-induced changes in growth, photosynthesis, accumulation of Na+ and Cl- and antioxidant metabolism in mustard (Brassica campestris L.), by Umar, S., I. Diva, N. Aziz, Anjum, and M. Iqbal, Dept. of Botany, Hamdard University, New Delhi.

Finally, what would we do without the cultural programme? The delegates enjoyed students of the College of Agriculture OUAT performing various traditional dances based on Orissa's heritage. Artists from the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Tourism Govt. of Orissa were also part of the programme which was enjoyed by all.

The event was co-sponsored by the Indian council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Fertilizer Association of India (FAI), the Bangladesh Fertilizer Association (BFA) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

The report on the IPI-OUAT-IPNI International Symposium on "Potassium Role and Benefits in Improving Nutrient Management for Food Production, Quality and Environmental Damages", 5-7 November 2009, Orissa, India, appears also at: Regional Activities/India

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