The ICAR-CIFT celebrated the National Productivity Week on 18th February 2019 (2.30 pm to 4.30 pm). The programme included a talk on “Science- Technology- Society- Environment: Evolving Interfaces for Achieving Sustainability in agricultural sector” delivered by Dr. Jiju P Alex, Director (Extension), Kerala Agricultural University. The programme was arranged with a focal theme of ‘Circular Economy for Productivity and Sustainability’ for this year’s National Productivity Week celebration.
Welcoming the gatherings Dr. A. K. Mohanty, Head, EIS Division highlighted the concept of technology sustainability in agriculture and its role in achieving food and nutritional security.
In his presidential address, Dr. C.N. Ravishankar, Director, ICAR-CIFT, Cochin said Indian agriculture including crop, livestock and fisheries are facing brunt of climate change and pollution which adversely affects the productivity. He contextualised the topic in the background of the sustainable development goals, which India is committed to achieve. Therefore, the strategies for the development of the sectors need to consider the long term sustainability as a corner stone, and circular economy is key to it.
Delivering the key note address, Dr. Jiju P Alex highlighted the need to develop society centric strategies in improving the productivity of agricultural sector, which internalizes the long term sustainability concerns. People’s participation at every phase of technology assessment and refinement is the key. He provided an overview of the global food security issues, and role of innovation process in addressing the productivity challenges and the role of circular economy concept in it. The sustainability issues in the agricultural systems are to be managed by technologies suitable for the extant social systems, infrastructure development and institutional expansion. Creating avenues for exchanges of ideas would be critical in developing sustainable solutions to emerging issues.
While proposing vote of thanks, Dr. A. Suresh highlighted the success of technologies in overcoming many food security challenges as discussed in Malthusian philosophy. But, new challenges are emerging in the form of constraints in natural resources like water, land and biodiversity, and above all, climate change. These challenges have to be overcome through technology and emergence of new institutions for management, particularly for common property and open access resources.
Presentation by Dr. Jiju P Alex