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ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru in collaboration with the Society for Promotion of Horticulture organized 3-day National Conference on Recent Trends and Future Prospects of Floriculture in India” during 9-11 January, 2024. The conference was inaugurated on 9th January, 2024 by Dr. T. Janakiram, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Y.S.R. Horticultural University, Andhra Pradesh.

The Chief Guest in his keynote address, emphasized the significance and dynamic domain of floriculture, highlighting the journey marked by innovation in breeding, integration of artificial intelligence and the global impact of exports. Recalling the growth of Floriculture industry in India, Dr Janakiram mentioned that the flowers have moved from backyards of farm houses to global markets. Prof. Sanjay Kumar Singh, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, extended a warm welcome to the participants, setting the stage for the insightful event. Dr. P. Naveen Kumar, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Flower and Medicinal Crops, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, provided valuable insights into objectives and scope of the seminar. Distinguished guests Dr. Sudhakar Pandey, ADG (Flower/Veg./Spices/Med. Plants), ICAR, New Delhi, Dr. K. V. Prasad, Director, ICAR – Directorate of Floricultural Research, Pune, Maharashtra, Dr. S.P. Das, Director, ICAR-National Research Centre for Orchids, Pakyong, Sikkim, Smt. Madhumathi Andrews, Manager, APEDA and Shri. Ramesh D.S., Director of Horticulture, Department of Horticulture, Lalbagh, Bengaluru, Government of Karnataka  graced the occasion and shared with their valuable insights and perspectives, contributing to richness of  discussions.

In the inaugural session, licensing of Arka Keerthana Tuberose variety and release of three publications were noteworthy developments. Farmers, who adopted ICAR-IIHR technologies and played a crucial role in the popularization of research outcome, were felicitated. Mr. Hanumantharaju from Thammarasanahalli, Karnataka was felicitated for popularizing china aster and Gladiolus varieties, Mr. Nagesh from Malavalli for popularizing IIHR crossandra varieties, Mr Mahesh from Malavalli for popularizing crossandra and rose varieties and Mr Siddartha from Dharmapuri Tamil Nadu for adopting tuberose variety Arka Prajwal.

The conference featured nine thematic areas covering germplasm conservation and improvement of ornamental crops, improved production technologies and precision floriculture, Hi-tech and diverse floriculture, Quality seed  and planting material production/ startups, Post-harvest management and innovations in value-addition. Innovations in pest and disease management, Environmental floriculture, Socio-economic impact, marketing and IPR and policy issues and road map for promotion of Floriculture and stakeholders’ interaction meet in 9 technical sessions. Overall, there were nine keynote addresses, 22 lead talks, 97 oral presentations and 145 poster presentations. The seminar was organized in hybrid mode facilitating the participation of around 300 participants of which 180 were online participants. The last session on road map for promotion of Floriculture and stakeholders’ interaction meet was one of the special and important sessions of the conference for meaningful discussions and experience sharing of stakeholders.

The valedictory session of three-day National Conference was held on 11th Jan 2024. The Guest of Honour, Dr. Debi Sharma, emphasized the need for generating data on pesticide residues in flowers, setting detectable residue limits for both consumption and decoration, and assessing risks. The Chief Guest, Dr. N. K. Dadlani, expressed his belief in the free and fair exchange of knowledge, emphasizing the importance of showcasing success stories of floriculture technologies adopted by farmers. He presented a roadmap for floriculture in India. Prof. Sanjay Singh, Director, ICAR-IIHR highlighted the emergence of new concepts like green buildings and government of India support for Sunrise Industry i.e., floriculture. He announced the formation of the ‘Arka Green Brigade,’ a voluntary green club open to staff and students contributing their time for a green, energy-efficient, and zero-waste campus.

The conference concluded with the vote of thanks by the organizing Secretary, Dr. G R Smitha, she extended gratitude to all contributors, including Chairpersons, Team Members, sponsors, partners, speakers, and participants, as well as ICAR-IIHR staff and students.

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