Report by Nishapati Nayak; Bhubaneswar: A Special Lecture on “Tapping into the Phytochemical diversity and a journey towards Smart Agriculture in India” was held at the Central University of Odisha in its Landiguda Campus on 10th December, 2020. Dr. Shyam K. Masakapalli, Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT Mandi, Himachal Pradesh delivered the Lecture. The programme was organized by the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources of the CUO. Prof. I Ramabrahmam, Vice-Chancellor of the University conveyed his best wishes to the department for successful organizing the programme. In his message Prof. Ramabrahmam mentioned that the smart agriculture in India is need of the hour and the student of BCNR will learn many things pertains to biodiversity on tapping of phytochemicals and smart agriculture. Prof. S.K. Palita, Dean, School of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources chaired the programme.
Dr. Masakapalli discussed biodiversity conservation in Himalayan Region with particular reference to tapping of phytochemicals in relation to their disease curing capacity. He also discussed how his group is working on nutritional and phytochemical analysis of medicinal, aromatic and edible plants. He informed that his group is involved in searching for phytochemicals of importance and how it can help the local community. He elaborated that his organisation has created a Farmer Zone with funding from Govt. of India and has created an App for the purpose which can be easily used by farmers and can benefit them. His group has digitised flora of the region and established a Herbarium and Botanical Garden. Dr. Masakapalli also appreciated the type of research being carried out in the dept. of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources.
Prof. Palita, highlighted how institutional linking is necessary for development and spread of research and visiting scientists and academicians between institutions act as ambassadors for taking research forward. He stressed those researches which are carried out need to have a societal orientation.
Students and research scholars interacted with the visiting scientist. Dr. Jayant Kumar Nayak, Head I/c, Anthropology and Dr. Pradosh Rath, Head I/c, J&MC also participated in the interaction. Dr. Debabrata Panda, Asst. Professor coordinated the scientific interaction and Dr. Kakoli Bnaerjee, Asst. Professor gave vote of thanks.