Annual Symposium of the Department of Agriculture (ASDA 2018) was held on 6th & 7th September 2018 with the participation of Officials of related Ministries, Chairmen, Director Generals, Directors, Scientists and other prominent members of the Sri Lankan agricultural research community. This year the event was held at the Plant Genetic Resource Center premises in Gannoruwa, Peradeniya. The theme of the Symposium was “Agriculture Beyond Production.
Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Agriculture was the Chief Guest of this Symposium and Hon. Angajan Ramanathan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture was also participated.
Speaking at the inauguration session of the symposium Minister Mahinda Amaraweera explained how Sri Lankan Agriculture should play a major role in attracting more more foreign exchange through Agriculture related products and services, at the same time he emphasized the importance of cutting down the billions of moneys we spend annually to import food items like fruits.
Prof Holger Meinke, from University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, Hobart, Australia was the Keynote speaker. He delivered the keynote speech on the topic “Agriculture Beyond Production – A Bioeconomy for Societies”. During his talk he emphasized how we should focus our research interests beyond production efficiency and yield increases. “Instead, policies and processes are needed that enable functional and transparent value chains, linking consumers with food processors and farmers. The thinking has shifted from solely meeting the calorific needs of people (Food Security) towards providing people with healthy diets that meet their energy as well as their nutritional requirements. That’s why the Agriculture has been included in all most all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by United Nations. “ prof. Meinke explained.
Altogether 31 Research Presentations in 8 Thematic Areas were presented during the two-day Programme with 18 poster presentations and 24 short communications. Research Papers were presented in under following themes,
- Genetics of Tomorrow
- Life on Land
- Action for Stress
- Beyond Farm
- Genetics for Development
- Crops Beyond Land
- Responsible Consumption
- Innovative Actions
According to Prof. Jeevika Weerheva, Editor in Chief, ASDA 2018, full research papers of 30 studies will be published in 2nd, 3rd and 4th issues of volume 166 of the journal Tropical Agriculturist. And at the same time book of abstracts of all the research papers, Short communications and poster presentations is available at all libraries of National Agricultural Research System.