'Soil Biodiversity for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem functioning' event inaugurated at SKUAST-K

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Wednesday inaugurated 10-day event ‘Soil Biodiversity for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Functioning’. 

The event has been organised to commemorate World Soil Day, which is held every year on December 5 across the world to focus on conservation and sustainable management of soil.

A number of programmes, including webinars by international and national experts, debates, faculty-scientist-student interactions, quiz, paintings and poster competitions, are being held on this year’s World  Soil Day theme, ‘Keep Soil Alive , protect soil biodiversity’.

The 10-day event is conducted jointly by the Division of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Horticulture jointly under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for institutional development of SKUAST-K. About 1800 students and scholars from 30 countries are participating in the international webinars and other online components of the 10-day event through Zoom and Google meets.

Vice-Chancellor SKUAST-K, Prof Mushtaq Ahmad, who was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural function, laid stress about preventing of land degradation, promoting soil conservation and educating landholders and the general public about sound land management, besides stressing on infusing the youngsters to pay attention for survival of soil wellbeing and to sensitize the public and farmers in general for soil health management.

Prof Ahmad assured that such events will help sensitize masses about upkeep of soil fertility and bring together governments, policy makers, scientists, NGOs, the media, youth and general public for protecting this important natural resource.

Director Education Prof MH Balkhi, in his address suggested to save our mother soil vigorously and religiously and said the conservation of the soil is not only essential for the survival of the human race but for the whole ecosystem.

Director Planning & Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, in his address, emphasized on sustainable and resilient agriculture aided by the new-age technology especially in the post green revolution era.

Prof Ganai also gave an overview of various programmes and activities held under the flagship IDP-NAHEP. 

Prof Farida Akhter, Head Division of Soil Science dealt at length on the World Soil Day and its theme, and laid stress regarding awareness on launch of awareness among the people about protecting and preserving of soil flora and fauna for the overall health and vitality of soil for sustaining agricultural growth.

Dr Javaid Ahmad Wani, Professor soil science; Dr M Iqbal Bhat, Asstt. Professor, Soil science also spoke on the occasion. Dr Shabir Ahmad Bangroo, Assistant professor conducted the proceedings of the inaugural function.