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SAARC Agriculture Centre

SAARC Regional Consultation Meeting on Developing Country Specific Integrated Plant Nutrition System Modules for Major Crops and Cropping System was held at Kandy, Sri Lanka from 21- 23 August 2019. SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC), Horticulture Crop Research & Development Institute (HORDI) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) jointly organized this meeting. It was graced by Honorable Chief Guest, Ms Jayantha Ilangakoon, Additional Director General, Department of Agriculture; Guests of Honor Dr. W.M.G. Samarasinghe, Director, Horticulture Crop Research & Development Institute and Dr. Punyawardana, SAARC Agriculture Centre’s Governing Board Member, Sri Lanka. Country Focal Experts from 7 SAARC Member States (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and IRRI have attended this consultation meeting. In addition, 15 Local Participants from Horticulture, Tea & Rubber Plantations, University and non-governmental organizations have also attended the meeting. Mr. Kinzang Gyeltshen, Senior Program Specialist (NRM) from SAARC Agriculture Centre (SAC) was the over all coordinator of this consultation meeting.

The Director, Horticulture Crop Research and Development Institute welcomed the experts and other participants of the meeting. Chief Guest Ms Jayantha has highlighted the alarming rate of land degradation and adverse climate change impacts in SAARC region posing serious challenge to agriculture sectors. She commented that it is timely, SAC initiated Integrated Plant Nutrition System (IPNS) meeting to share IPNS modules of respective countries, identify challenges to adopt IPNS and recommend for large scale adoption of IPNS concept to increase soil productivity and maintain soil health. She also stressed on the need to have strong coordination among Researchers – Extensions – Farmers to adopt IPNS modules actually in the field.  Mr. Kinzang briefly presented about the objectives and rationale for conducting the meeting and he informed the meeting that IPNS has been increasingly recognized and SAC is focusing to draw regional attention for large-scale adoption of IPNS. Further, he has also emphasized the need to have stronger collaboration among scientific community, extension workers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders’ concerned to adopt the concept of IPNS. Focal Experts and other participants have made a field visit to National Spice Garden, Matale to see the IPNS modules used for various Spice species and also to CIC Agri Businesses, Dambulla to see the IPNS concept adopted for horticulture crops.

The closing session of the meeting was graced by Chief Guest, Dr. Punyawardana, SAARC Agriculture Centre’s Governing Board Member, Sri Lanka and handed over mementos to all Country Focal Experts. Mr. Kinzang has delivered closing remarks of the meeting and stressed the need to adopt IPNS concept for major crops and cropping systems in SAARC region.