DAE, BARC showcase advances in Nuclear Food, Agriculture

DAE jite
Dr Jitendra Singh at the roadshow on advances in Nuclear Food and Agriculture.

New Delhi: (NVI): In an innovative approach, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) along with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) yesterday resorted to a roadshow on advances in Nuclear Food and Agriculture here to showcase the societal applications that DAE is pursuing.

During the event, various sessions were also held on nuclear agriculture and crop improvement, agri-technologies for plant and soil health and radiation technologies for food preservation.

The topics ranged from crop improvement in oilseeds, BARC’s contribution in pulses, Mutation breeding in cereals and millets, radiation-based technologies for augmenting crop growth and water conservation, biopesticides and biofertilizers, technologies for improving plant and soil health, radiation processing of fruits and vegetables, radiation processing for microbial safety, among others.

While Speaking on the occassion, Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said that the vision of the founding father of India’s nuclear programme, Dr. Homi Bhabhawas not to limit the nuclear research to the confines of the laboratory, but to take the technology to the outside world for the benefit of mankind.

“Way back in the Fifties, when Dr Homi Bhabhasaid our nuclear programme is based on the peaceful use of atomic energy, the world did not believe us. But today we are running a successful and safe nuclear energy programme,” He added.

Dr Jitendra Singh has also called for wider applications of nuclear technology in everyday life.

Earlier in the day, Plenary lectures were also held on challenges in seed production and deployment and Revival of traditional varieties using radiation induced mutation breeding.

Indian agriculture is confronted with new challenges like rising population, unpredictable climate changes, changing food habits and growing urbanization.Apart from supplying adequate food, it will now be a major task to provide nutritious food to achieve ‘zero hunger’.

Towards achieving food security, radiation-based crop improvement and food preservation technologies would contribute significantly to enhance crop productivity and reduce food losses.

Development of climate resilient, nutrient-rich varieties with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in crop plants will address most of the concerns.

The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy K N Vyas and other senior officers from the Ministries of Agriculture, Food Processing, Fertilizers and Chemicals, FSSAI and concerned government agencies were also present on the occasion.

-sb