Phone/Fax: +92-41-9201086; Email: ichs2016@uaf.edu.pk
Institute of Horticultural Sciences
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Introduction
In agriculture enterprises, horticulture offers the best alternative for increasing food self-dependency, improve diet and ensure the generation of higher earnings and employments. Global horticulture industry has seen unprecedented growth during the past three decades. Adaption of the scientific knowledge in improving production technologies, supply chain systems and postharvest management has greatly enhanced produce quantity and quality. But, there is still need to find answers to several other important issues. Biotic and abiotic stresses hamper food yield. Similarly, economic production of healthier foods, efficient energy and water use, reduction in postharvest losses and food security are few of the major challenges to world horticultural industry. Meeting these challenges in developing countries is even harder due to lack of resources, infrastructure and awareness in local growers. Pakistan is bestowed with diverse climatic and soil conditions, which are suitable for the cultivation of many fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and medicinal plants. Fruit and vegetable production in Pakistan is 6.52 and 3.09 million tonnes, respectively, but their export is meager. Tropical fruits are cultivated around the costal belt of Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. The uplands of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Gilgit Baltistan and Northern areas are suitable for the production of temperate fruits. Major fruits of Pakistan are citrus, mango, dates, guava, apple and banana. However, other 38 fruits are also being produced such as grapes, peaches, almond, apricot, pear, plum, olive, fig, pomegranates, etc. Potato, tomato, chilies, okra and onion are the major vegetable crops while roses, gladioli, narcissi, tuberoses, chrysanthemum, tropical palms and other ornamental foliage plants are extensively produced in different regions of Pakistan. The mountainous Northern areas are also enriched with mushrooms and medicinal plant resources. However, like other developing countries, Pakistan is also facing challenges in production and postharvest management of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and medicinal crops. University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) is the top ranking university of Pakistan with high national and international recognition. It ranks 85th in Agriculture and Forestry as per QS World Universities Rankings; 97th in the world and 20th in Asia Pacific Region in Agricultural Sciences by NTU Ranking; and 25th best Green University as per UI Green Metric World University Ranking. UAF offers an array of more than 160 academic and professional programs at doctoral, masters, undergraduate and higher secondary levels in agricultural and allied sciences. Institute of Horticultural Science (IHS) is also a premier and top ranking horticultural institute in the country which is offering under and postgraduate degrees in pomology, olericulture, floriculture & landscape, biotechnology, medicinal plants, and postharvest horticulture. The UAF is transforming the community through real impact of its programs of teaching, research, technology development and outreach activities, which are essential for agricultural and rural development and producing manpower to meet future challenges of food security. For more details, please visit UAF official website www.uaf.edu.pk. This international conference will provide a platform to the researchers, scientists, growers, processors, exporters and other stakeholders to share their novel ideas for food safety and security issues in horticulture production and postharvest management. Outcomes of the conference will certainly help to meet the future challenges of food security in the region in particular and globally in general. Specifically, this conference will also provide an opportunity to horticulture industry of Pakistan for improving the productivity and exports in addition to providing the nutritional security to rapidly increasing population of the world.
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