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Fourth day of 5th International Nitrogen Conference on Reactive Nitrogen Management for Sustainable Development - Science, Technology and Policy. 3-7th December, 2010, Hotel Ashoka, New Delhi.

India, Dec. 7 -- 5th International Nitrogen Conference

New Delhi, Delhi, December 6, 2010 /India PRwire/ - Even as the five day 5th International Nitrogen Conference entered the fourth day here, over 100 scientists from 37 countries and another 400 from India brain-stormed on burning issues related to nitrogen management and finding a mid-way between ensuring food security and environmental fall-outs of large scale nitrogen usage, especially in agriculture.

The Conference jointly organized by the Indian Nitrogen Group and International Nitrogen Initiative under the chief patronage of acclaimed agriculture scientist Dr M S Swaminathan, has been discussing the beneficial impact of nitrogen, especially in food productivity and also its negative impact on environment, soil fertility and bio-diversity.

"The multiple positive and negative impacts of nitrogen (N) on eco-systems and society present an unprecedented challenge for science and management. How can we sustainably use nitrogen to produce the food, fiber and energy for the Earth's seven billion people while minimizing degradation of air and water quality, bio-diversity and ecosystem services, is the critical question today," pointed out Dr Sybil P Seitzinger of International Geosphere -Biosphere Programme, Stockholm, Sweden, during one of the sessions.

According to Dr Fu-Suo Zhang, from College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, China, "Due to environmental and economic constraints, another doubling of food production must be met through improved N use efficiency rather than more N fertilizer inputs.

It may be noted that the doubling of agricultural food production worldwide during the past 35 years can be largely attributed to use of nitrogen fertilizers but it has had negative impact on bio-diversity, soil fertility and ozone layer.

According to Dr N Raghuram, co-organizer of the event, and coordinator of Indian Nitrogen Group, "In Indian agriculture, genuine demands for expansion of fertilizer N use in some areas co-exist with the concerns over the environmental hazards of excessive and inefficient N-fertlizer sue in other areas. The solution lies in efficient nitrogen-management."

Earlier on the inauguration day, Dr M S Swaminathan, chief architect of Indian green revolution, had pointed out that the biggest challenge in the coming years is going to be how scientific community and policy makers respond to the twin but conflicting challenges of food security and environmental concerns, even as Indian policies move from patronage era to rights-based approach, through acts such as right to food. "India can deliver on the right to food only if productivity is improved by properly managing inputs such as nitrogen, as land is going out of agriculture," he had added.

It may be noted that Nitrogen-based fertilizers constitute more than 70 % of all fertilizers used in agriculture, without which, global food security would be under serious risk. While they helped increase food output, leakages of reactive nitrogen compounds from unused fertilizers causes environmental, health and climate change concerns. Nitrous oxide, which also comes from other sources such as fossil fuels, has 300 times global warming potential as compared to carbon compounds.

In his inaugural address Prof K V Thomas, minister of state for agriculture & consumer affairs, GOI, said that even as food security remains the top priority of the government, it was equally committed to addressing environmental concerns.

About the Conference: The triennial International Nitrogen Conference is taking place for the first time in India. Earlier conferences were held in The Netherlands, USA, China and Brazil. It is being organized by Indian Nitrogen Group (ING-SCON) and the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI). According to Dr Cheryl Plam, Chairperson, International Nitrogen Initiative, a global integrated initiative was needed to understand and address all issues related to nitrogen management.

For more information on 5th International Nitrogen Conference, please visit: www.n2010.org. You may also contact Dr N Raghuram, on -9891252943

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Publication:India PRwire
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 7, 2010
Words:649
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