A Model Training Course on “Role of Germplasm Diversity in Nutritional Security” (20th - 27th November 2014), sponsored by Directorate of Extension, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and organized at NBPGR. The main objective of the training was to create awareness on plant genetic resources and nutritional security among the State Department Officials who are directly dealing with the end users. Twenty four participants were selected from eight states namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Kerala.
Dr. Bhag Mal, Former Coordinator, Bio-versity International and Senior Consultant, APAARI inaugurated the function on 20th November, 2014 and showed great concern about the changing food habits and shrinkage of the food basket. Dr. Ashok Kumar, Principal Scientist & Head, Germplasm Evaluation Division and Course Coordinator briefed about the importance of training and appreciated the efforts of Directorate in taking up appropriate step in sponsoring the programme at right time and right place. Dr P.S. Armorikar, Director, Directorate of Extension, Ministry of Agriculture urged the participants to take the message of the importance of plant genetic resources. Dr. K.C. Bansal, Director, NBPGR informed the low bioavailability of micro-nutrients in the diet is the main cause of malnutrition and nutritional deficiency.
The programme was concluded on 27th November,2014, Dr. Ashok Kumar, Principal Scientist & Head, Germplasm Evaluation Division and Course Coordinator informed that the training was comprised of 29 lectures and six practicals/visits related to germplasm diversity and nutritional security. The aspect of training was covered by experienced resource persons from different organizations like APAARI, PPV&FRA, NIN (ICMR), ICAR, CAZRI, IARI, NBPGR etc. Besides, two special lectures, one on GM Technology by Dr. K.C. Bansal, Director, NBPGR and another on Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Right Act by Dr. R.C. Agrawal, Registrar General, PPVFRA were also delivered. Dr. S.K. Datta, DDG (CS), ICAR and Chief Guest of the Function expressed his concern about the malnutrition among the 40% of children and majority of Indian population suffering from hidden hunger. He emphasized the importance of germplasm diversity to meet this challenge and urged that NBPGR should take lead in brining awareness among the higher official of State Government Extension agencies. Dr. S.K. Mishra, Joint Director (Extension), DoE expressed his happiness for the way the training was organized. Dr. K.C. Bansal, Director, NBPGR agreed to support such types of trainings and to develop networking with state departments to strengthen the management of plant genetic resources. The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Rakesh Bharadwaj, Senior Scientist and Course Convenor of the training programme.