Honourable Members of the ISWS
More than 60% population of India is depending on agriculture sector; therefore, Indian agriculture plays a major role in the country’s economy. India may require at least 20 million tons of additional food every year to meet the minimum food and nutritional demands of the growing population, which is expected to be 1.7 billion by 2050. The greatest challenge of the 21st century is to meet the rising food demand while maintaining the sustainability of the natural resources. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has repeatedly urged agricultural scientists for doubling the income of farmers by 2022. Weeds are one of the major limitations to reduce the yield hence income of farmers too. Therefore, in order to address the emerging challenges and for doubling farmers’ income over the next two years, Indian Society of Weed Science kept the theme of recently held conference as ‘Weed management for enhancing farmers’ income and food security’. The beginning of New Year 2020 was pleasant for all of us with full of activities and lot of zeal to prepare for the Conference of Goa from 5-7 February 2020. Although the news of entry of COVID-19 in India started to appear, but we could conduct the Conference because of negligible threat by that time. We are happy that the conference was conducted in a grand way amidst the nice weather of Goa. The major highlights of the conference were (i) Distribution of various awards , (ii) About 274 delegates from all over the India and overseas including members of the Society, scientists, students from agricultural research institutions and State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), representatives from concerned government departments and industries, (iii)There was General Body Meeting of ISWS on 5 February, 2020 , (iv) Nine technical sessions were organized, (v) One Keynote lecture, 3 Plenary presentations, 14 lead papers, 71 oral papers and 170 posters were presented,(vi) Gala Dinner on 5th February 2020 on the cruise (vii) Field visit of the delegates on 7, February 2020. The conference abstract book proceedings were provided to all the delegates in the digital form in pen drive and which is also available on ISWS websites. I would like to thank all the speakers, participants, sponsors and the members of various committees for making this event a memorable one. I trust that young scientists and students were benefitted the most by attending some excellent presentations by world renowned scientists and interacting with them.
The last week of March 2020 was not so pleasant for all of us due to imposing of country wide lockdown in India, which compelled us to remain in house up to substantial time. With the opening of Unlock-1 process on June first 2020, our life again started to meet the challenges ahead. We all should appreciate our farmers’ courage that they did cultivation and harvesting during that tough time and contributed significantly for food security. I am sure in due course; we shall defeat the COVID-19 virus due to advancement in medical science and our will to sustain the life for better future. But certainly, we need to plan to maximise the use of digital and online platforms to tackle the situation till COVID-19 pandemic is over. Please take utmost care of yourself and your family amidst this worst catastrophe of the world. I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy life ahead.