Bhubaneswar: A national seminar on ‘Fruit production in Eastern Tropical Region of India: Challenges and Opportunities’ has been organized by Central Horticultural Experiment Station (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar during 24-26 March, 2022 in collaboration with SPH with an aim to devise a roadmap for the development of fruit industry in eastern tropical region.

The inaugural function was graced by Dr. A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticulture), ICAR, New Delhi, Prof. D.P. Ray, Chancellor, SOA, Bhubaneswar, Dr. P.K. Agarwal, Vice Chancellor, OUAT, Dr. V. Pandey, ADG (Horticulture), ICAR New Delhi, Dr. B. N. S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru and S. K. Subudhi, Add. Director Horticulture, Govt. of Odisha.

Dr. Singh delivered the keynote address and shared his vision on the development of fruit industry in the eastern tropical region of India.

Prof. Ray and Dr. Agarwal highlighted the importance of holistic approach including post-harvest management in the development of fruit sector in the region. Whereas Dr. Pandey highlighted the need of germplasm conservation and their exploitation for the benefit of farming community. Dr. Murthy realized the need of scientific fruit production technology for bridging the yield gap. He further added that ICAR-IIHR demonstrated feasible technologies through fair and training programs.

Subudhi, emphasized the schems of horticulture for the benefit of farmers. Dr. G. C. Acharya, Head CHES, highlighted the achievements of CHES, Bhubaneswar.

At the outset, Dr. B. N. S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru welcomed the delegates. The brief detail of the seminar was presented by Dr. Kundan Kishore, Organizing Secretary. The event included streaming of CHES activities and release of Souvenir cum Abstract Book and a technical bulletin on Post-harvest Management in fruit crops. At this occasion, a Post-harvest unit established with the financial support of RKVY Govt. of Odisha was inaugurated to promote value addition in fruit crops.

A MOU was also executed between ICAR-IIHR and a progressive farmer, Shri Bhimasen Patra, Puri for planting material production of Arka Kiran, a guava variety of IIHR, Bengaluru. The seminar comprised of various technical sessions, consisting of talks of distinguished scientists and students under different thematic areas. The national seminar targets to strengthen the research perspective in fruit crops with an approach of promoting fruit production on a commercial basis to augment the livelihood of the farmers of the region.

The inaugural function ended with a formal vote of thanks, proposed by Dr. Dhananjay, General Secretary, Society for Promotion of Horticulture with a thoughtful note in understanding the future dimensions of fruit production in the area.