Asian Seed Congress 2017 Special Interest Group: Field Crops Meeting
The meeting of APSA Special Interest Group on Field Crops (SIG-FC) was chaired by Dr. P. Sateesh Kumar, who opened the session by explaining that in the past APSA field crops sessions mostly focused on corn. However, three years ago it was decided that there should be more diversification and so presentations were included on cotton, pearl millet and wheat. Mr. Tahir Saleemi, SIG FC’s Co-Chair then introduced the speakers for the session.
The first speaker, Dr. P.K. Ghosh (former Director of the Indian Grasslands & Fodder Research Institute, India) gave a presentation titled “Abiotic Stress Management in Field Crops” on behalf of Professor Himanshu Pathak, Director of National Rice Research Institute, India, who was unable to join this year’s congress due to last-minute obligations. Dr. Ghosh talked about the negative impact of climate change on field crop production and distribution. He said that the biggest abiotic threats to field crop production are heat, droughts, floods, and salinity. Dr. Ghosh suggested the adaptation of new technologies to combat these issues as they relate to rice, wheat and maize production. He also talked about the action points for climate-resilient seed production.
The second speaker was Mr. Paul Hategekimana who gave a presentation on “Sustainable Corn Production with Drought Resistant Cultivars” based on his Master’s research programme at
Kasetsart University, Thailand. He told delegates how corn was popularly grown in Africa, both as food and for the extraction of ethanol. However, the crop is affected by drought stress through
its life cycle and the crop’s morpho-physiology drives this. Drought resistance can be divided into four basic types: drought avoidance, drought tolerance, drought escape and drought recovery.
Paul concluded that breeding for drought resistance should focus on varieties with deep root systems, greater root weight and higher levels of antioxidants pigment concentration.
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