There is no gainsaying the fact that increasing population, climate change, and over-exploitation of natural resources are sending humanity into a tailspin. The number of people suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition is rising at an enormous rate and this formidable situation has been further exacerbated since 2020 due to the onslaught of the covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the commitment of most of the countries in the world on meeting the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 has gone completely off-track.
In the current scenario, plant biologists are facing the onerous task of boosting crop productivity with constricted arable land, reduced availability of resources, and degraded environment. Multi-dimensional crop improvement seems to be an urgent need of the hour to honestly address this seemingly indomitable challenge. Hitherto, plant breeding programs have played a predominant role in increasing crop yield, enhancing crop quality, and improving crop tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, these approaches are time-consuming and thus need to be adequately supplemented on an urgent basis with faster and more specific modern biotechnological tools and techniques, including genome editing, to develop climate-resilient and nutrient-dense field crops, which would in turn help to combat the headwinds currently being encountered on the way to global food and nutritional security.
Plant biology has made some major headways in basic and applied research in the last few years. The collective power of integrated omics, transgenic technology, and genome editing has helped researchers in gaining deeper insights into the morphological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular aspects of plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, despite these technological advancements, the progress in enhancing the productivity of field crops, especially legumes, and oilseeds has been rather protracted. Similarly, although people are becoming increasingly aware of the nutritional richness of the millets, which have been rightly termed as Nutri cereals, but their acreage is not increasing proportionately and leaves much to be desired in the absence of high-yielding varieties/genotypes/hybrids.
In view of the above, the international conference on “Biochemical and Biotechnological Approaches for Crop Improvement” aims to bring a galaxy of researchers and academicians from across the globe to present their research experiences and also to provide them a common platform to discuss new concepts, updates and integrate novel crop improvement ideas with the broader goal of fast-tracking accomplishment of SDGs by 2030.
The conference shall feature technical sessions with plenary, keynote, invited lectures, and contributory oral/poster presentations. Besides, separate sessions would be organized to take stock of advances made in millets, legume, and oilseed research, and potential goals and strategies for the improvement of these crops would be discussed and deliberated upon to chart an implementable action plan. “A special attraction of the conference would be the Industry-Academia interface and student –Science leaders interface to address present and future challenges in crop improvement”. The conference would also provide an opportunity for the exhibitors to showcase their innovations in the field of biochemistry, molecular biology, and biotechnology. Separate exhibition stalls will also be allocated for this purpose in the conference area.