Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education & Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) opened the four-day international symposium SYMSAC X. Inaugurating the virtual event, the Director General of ICAR stressed the importance of spices in preventing infections and respiratory health issues citing a set of recent studies.
The spices production in the country along with the production of other horticultural crops are witnessing steady increase in the country and the country is producing about 9 million tonnes of spices annually, said Dr. Mohapatra during the inaugural address. He also appreciated the research and development activities taking place in the spices sector as well as in other agriculture sectors for driving the immense growth in production, processing, marketing, value addition and export of spices crops.
According to Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, the spices export has been earning India more than 3 billion US Dollars. The Covid 19 infection rate is lower in countries where the spices consumption rate is higher, said the director general of ICAR citing international research papers.
He also stressed the importance of popularising bio fortified spices and other crop varieties for improving productivity and for addressing malnutrition. He also stressed the importance of contract farming for improving farmers’ income.
The symposium on Spices as Flavours, Fragrances and Functional Foods with participants from across the globe can share their expertise and experience to help India prepare better for spice cultivation, marketing and export, he stressed.
Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey; Assistant Director General (HS-I), ICAR, New Delhi presided over the programme hosted by the Indian Society for Spices. He also stressed the role of spices in food systems and nutraceutical systems. He expressed his hope that the export performance of spices sector will further improve in the post Covid period.
Dr. Rattan Lal Director, professor of Ohio State University and winner of World Food Prize delivered keynote address on Carbon sequestration for nutritional security
Sugandha Bharathi award for outstanding contributions in spices research was presented to Dr. P N Ravindran by Dr. J Rema, director of ICAR-IISR. Sugandhasree Innovative farmer award for T Joseph was also given away at the function. The release of Symsac publications and a video profile of the institute was also held at the event.
ISS Fellowships, Dr. J.S. Pruthi Award, Dr. V.S. Korikanthimath Award and Smt. Vijaya V. Korikanthimath Award were also distributed
Dr. A. K. Singh Deputy Director General (HS), ICAR, Mr. D. Sathiyan, IFS; Secretary; Chairman of Spices Board, Ms. Hoang Thi Lien; Executive Director of International Pepper Community, Indonesia, Dr. Gopal Lal; Director ICAR - National Research Centre on Seed Spices, Dr. Homey Cheriyan, Director, Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development, Dr. J. Rema; Director of ICAR-IISR, Dr. A. B. Remashree Director (Research), Spices Board, Mr. Ramkumar Menon; Chairman of World Spice Organization Kerala and Dr. Santhosh J. Eapen; General Chairman of SYMSAC-X also spoke on the occasion.