Prof Rattan Lal, Prof Bruce Alberts, Dr David Nabarro, Dr K Vijayaraghavan, Dr Soumya Swaminathan among key speakers at virtual consultation
Chennai, August 4, 2020: Eminent global speakers including World Food Prize 2020 Laureate Prof Rattan Lal, former Editor of ‘Science’, Dr Bruce Alberts, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of India Dr K Vijayaraghavan and Chief Scientist, WHO, Dr Soumya Swaminathan will present at an international conference on August 7, 8 and 10. Honorable Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, will deliver the inaugural address of the virtual consultation titled ‘Science for Resilient Food, Nutrition and Livelihoods’ organized by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). The event will explore contemporary challenges, for food and nutrition security especially those arising from the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
Renowned experts on food and nutrition security and policy makers include the Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Extension & Director General Indian Council of Agricultural Research Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary Department of Biotechnology, Dr David Nabarro, Special Envoy WHO DG on COVID-19, Dr Ismail Seralgedin of Biblotheca Alexandrina, Dr Ramesh Chand, Niti Aayog, Mr Gagandeep Singh Bedi IAS, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, World Food Prize Foundation, Ms Poonam Muttreja Population Foundation, Dr Carlo Fadda, Bioversity, Prof Darshan Shankar, Trans-disciplinary University and Mr Bishow Parajuli, World Food Programme, India.
Announcing the conference, Prof M S Swaminathan, Founder MSSRF emphasized the importance of the subject under discussion. “Over the past 30 years we have been holding an inter-disciplinary dialogue to look at a complex problem from all dimensions for an integrated approach and find solutions for issues related to agriculture. Food security is basic to everything else. That is why this year especially it is important to exchange ideas on this subject, especially when we have problems of corona and climate change.”
Dr K S Murali, Executive Director MSSRF spoke of how the coronavirus pandemic has thrown everyone’s life out of gear. “In this critical juncture it is important to address livelihood issues related to food and nutrition security. Nutrition plays a vital role in today’s world to boost immunity. The conference is an opportunity to take the right steps to address the effects of the pandemic nationally, regionally and globally, with the best minds to offer solutions to reduce the impact of, recover from and rejuvenate ourselves beyond the pandemic.”
The conference that coincides with the birthday of Prof M S Swaminathan – August 7 – includes sessions on agrobiodiversity, climate change, gender, science communication, value chains, global and national policies besides a special session on Tamil Nadu. The virtual consultations will also be streamed live on MSSRF Facebook and Youtube.
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