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International Conference on Horticulture-2009  (ICH-2009)

The International Conference on Horticulture (ICH-2009) with the theme Horticulture for Livelihood Security and Economic Growth was held in Bangalore, Karnataka State, India during November 9-12, 2009. It was organized by Dr. Prem Nath Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF), Bangalore in association with Vegetable Science International Network (VEGINET), Bangalore and University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore in collaboration with national and international organizations like, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), New Delhi; Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India; Planning Commission, Government of India; National Horticulture Mission, New Delhi; Karnataka Department of Horticulture;, FAO, Rome; International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India; International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria; AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan; International Center for Underutilized Crops (ICUC), Sri Lanka and others.


The objective of the conference was to develop a plan to guide the development of cost-effective and efficient horticultural interventions to generate additional employment and income opportunities, crop diversifications through increased production and consumption of horticultural crops, provide better food and nutritional security, and improve health status by prevention of non-communicable diseases and micronutrient deficient disorders, all leading to livelihood security of farmers, particularly small and marginal ones, and overall economic growth in the interest of both producers and consumers.



About 750 delegates from 40 countries including Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Middle East and United States participated in the deliberations of the conference. There were 17 technical sessions including a seminar, covering six theme areas viz; Technological Domain; Institutional and Policy Support: Socio - Economic Domains;, Theme Area III: Producer – Consumer Domain; Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC); Challenges and Opportunities in Horticulture - Seminar; Plenary Session: Opportunities and Future Thrusts. A total of 650 presentations including 35 lead lectures, 250 oral, and 365 poster presentations were given. The Dr. B.P. Pal Memorial Lecture entitled “Horticulture and Health: Ancient and Medieval Views” was delivered by Professor Jules Janick, USA and the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Memorial Lecture entitled “Changing patterns of consumption, economic growth and food security: examining India’s experience in a global context” was delivered by Dr. Keith Wiebe, FAO, Rome. As a part of the conference, FAO sponsored HORTIVAR Training was also organized where about 100 scientists, professors, students and progressive farmers were trained.


1. The Conference recognized horticulture as the second line of defense with cereals and legumes serving as the first line in the food domain. It was estimated and stated that horticulture (a) supports significantly to food security, (b) is the major contributor of nutrition security, (c) promotes good health, and (d) is source of employment generation - all leading to livelihood security and further economic growth.

The technological advancements were recognized and the contributions accounted. Some of the highlights were as follows:

  • Attention may be given to breeding varieties that can grow with low-input agro techniques and in an extended growing season, and to develop varieties and production technologies suitable to urban and peri-urban locations. 2.2 Underutilized, under-exploited volunteer and wild genotypes that offer livelihood security for tribal and ethnic communities should, be promoted in the native form by research organizations and NGO’s.
  • Research work should be augmented on promoting fruits, vegetables, spices, medicinal and aromatic plants to preventing various non-communicable diseases, and on antioxidants and nutraceuticals in collaboration with WHO, FAO and other institutions.
  • Use of biotechnological tools and genetic engineering is less pronounced in horticultural crops, particularly in developing countries, and should to be strengthened and accelerated. Emphasis should be laid on specific traits like resistance to insect pests, drought and heat tolerance and extension of shelf-life of produce.
  • Global quality parameters should be standardized for various fruits and vegetables, spices, tuber crops and flower crops, and Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices should be developed for each crop; to enhance competitiveness and promote exports. Likewise, this should be popularized amongst the small and marginal farmers.
  • Protocols/technologies may be developed/standardized for production of botanicals/plant products, bio-pesticides, bio-fertilizers and bio-control agents at the farm gate levels and unemployed youth may be trained for production of these in order to reduce production cost, generate gainful employments and prevent migration to urban areas in search of employment.
  • There is a need to study and understand agro-ecosystems diversity with respect to horticultural crops and its impact on livelihood security. In this context bio-intensive farm modules involving various horticultural crops need to be developed and promoted.
  • Cost effective hybrid seed production protocols may be developed to reduce the cost of hybrid seeds, which can be affordable by small and marginal farmers. Phytosanitary certification standards for various seed and plant materials of horticultural crops for imports/exports need to be reviewed.
  • Various organic cultivation practices in vogue for different horticultural crops should be validated scientifically and cost-benefit-ratios should be worked out. Among the developing nations, the Transfer Technology Structure needs a drastic change in order to meet the needs of the rural populations.
  • Awareness and education programme on food, nutrition and health security should be launched.


3. To build awareness of supply chain and value chain among the farmers.

A wealth of technical information and ample number of technologies available but not accessible could be sourced through net-working of institutes and organizations for exchange of information, seed and plant materials and expertise. The FAO under the umbrella of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) has successfully implemented a special programme for food security and in low-income-food-deficit countries under South-South co-operation and may act as facilitator for formation and strengthening such networks like VEGINET (Vegetable Science International Network).

Horticultural education and research is not attracting the younger generation and talents at expected levels worldwide. At this juncture, it is essential to update the university syllabus, improve the quality of research, which should be more farmer’s driven and not scientist’s driven.

The recommendations emerging out of this conference should be distributed among all the stake holders and government organizations for possible implementation and policy interventions by the governments.

Honored Attendance: The importance of the conference was highlighted by the presence of His Excellency The Governor of Karnataka, Mr. H. R. Bhardwaj, as the Chief Guest who inaugurated the conference and graced by Minister of Agriculture, Mr. S.A.Ravindranath; Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation, Mr. Basavaraj S. Bommai, Government of Karnataka; Mr. M. V. Rajasekharan, former Union Minister of State for Planning; and Professor V. L. Chopra, former Member, Planning Commission, Government of India as Guests of Honor. Dr. Prem Nath, Chairperson, Organizing Committee, ICH-2009 delivered the keynote address. The inaugural audience was welcomed by Dr. P. G. Chengappa, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

National and International Awards:
Another highlight of the conference was the International and National gold and silver medal awards for known personalities who had contributed significantly to agriculture/horticulture, food and nutritional security. The recipients of the international gold medal awards by the Chief Guest were Prof. Jules Janick, Distinguished Professor of Horticulture, Purdue University, USA (Promotion of Horticultural Science); Dr. Mahmoud Solh, Director General, ICARDA, Syria (Promotion of Dryland Horticulture), and Mr. Wilfried O. Baudoin, former Head of Horticulture Group, FAO, Rome (Promotion of Vegetable Science).

The PNASF National Gold Medal Awards were given to Dr. R.S. Paroda (Promotion of Agricultural Research); Dr. Anupam Varma (Promotion of Plant Protection Research); Dr. S. Bisalaiah (Promotion of Economic Agriculture); Prof. R.S. Deshpande, (Research on Agriculture Policy); and Dr. K.V. Peter (Promotion of Horticulture Science). The PNASF Silver Medal Awards were given to Dr. K.R.M. Swamy, Dr. B.S. Prabhakar and Dr. D.P. Kumar of Bangalore for promotion of vegetables and horticulture.

The Organizing Committee of the ICH-2009 honored the following with ICH Silver Plaques presented by the Chief guest, the Governor of Karnataka, Shri H.R. Bhardwaj; Dr. P. G. Chengappa, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (Outstanding Academic Leader in Agriculture); Dr. O. P. Dutta, Secretary, Scientific Programme Committee, ICH 2009 (Outstanding Scientific Programme Leader in Horticulture); Dr. B. Raju, Chairman Logistic Committee, ICH-2009 (Outstanding Contribution to Conference Logistics).


Along with the ICH Souvenir and ICH Abstract Book, a new book entitled “Foods and Nutrition” authored by Dr. K.G.Ahuja, Dr. Prem Nath and Dr. K.R.M.Swamy and published by PNASF and Studium Press, New Delhi was released on this occasion.


The occasion was highlighted by the cultural programme organized on Indian classical music and Polk dances during two evenings.


An exhibition showcasing the products and technologies developed by private, public and NGO’s in the field of horticulture was arranged for the benefit of the delegates. A post-conference study tour was also arranged for interested delegates. Overall the conference was a success, benefiting various stake holders of horticulture sector.


The Proceedings of the ICH-2009 will be published during March, 2010 and copies will be available with the PNASF.


Dr. Prem Nath

Dr. P. N. Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF)
#9, 1st Cross, 1st Main, 1st Block,
Rajmahal Vilas (RMV) Extension 2nd Stage
Bangalore-560 094, Karnataka State, INDIA

Tel: +91-80-23415188
Fax: +91-80-23511555

E-mail: drpremnath@vsnl.net
Website: www.pnasf.org 


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