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June 1-3, 2020

Dear Colleague,

Nanotechnology is manufacturing at the molecular level—building things from nanoscale components, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Nanos comes from  Greek term for dwarf. It is  technology: that visualizes, characterizes, produces and manipulates matter at the size of 1–100 nm. A nanometer (nm) is one-billionth of a meter. A typical sheet of paper for printing is about 100,000 nm thick, a red blood cell counts about 2,000–5,000 nm in size, and the diameter of DNA is actually in the range of 2.5 nm. Biologists have been working for at the molecular level, in the range of nanometers (DNA and proteins) to micrometers (cells). A typical protein such as hemoglobin has a diameter of about 5 nm, DNA’s double helix is about 2 nm wide, and a mitochondrion ranges to a few hundred nanometers. In consequence, any subcellular entity can be termed “nanobiology”. A living cell counting hundreds of nanometers is considered to be an essential fabrication system just at nanoscale. Nanosized molecular building blocks construct all biological systems that in cooperation produce living entities. These elements led nanotechnologists to bear a new science named “nanobiotechnology” - the combination of nano and biotechnology. Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, more widely known under the novel term 'nanobiotechnology' form a broad, multidisciplinary field that exerts tremendous impact on contemporary societies. Food and nutritional security and sustainability of agriculture are globally important and valued goals for researchers, policy planners, breeders, farmers and consumers alike.

In post green revolution era global food production has increased tremendously, mainly from the increased yields resulting from new plant crop varieties of cereals and millets, with more efficient use of fertilizers, water, pesticides, and other plant breeding and plant protection technologies. This has  increased the global per capita food supply reducing hunger. World population is likely to grow from 6 billion in 2000 to 8 billion in 2025 and may stabilize at about 10 billion by 2050 with major increases being in developing countries. The impact of green revolution technologies has already been witnessed in terms of degraded soil and water and reduced biodiversity that are key elements to food security. Food security strategies should therefore be revisited. This will call for a blend of traditional ecological prudence with frontier technologies, particularly nanotechnology and biotechnology.  Agricultural nanobiotechnologies, as well as conventional plant breeding and plant protection jointly, have the potential to boost food prodution, nutritional security and environment health safety. Novel nanobiotechnologies may help to increase and achieve the productivity gains needed to feed a growing global population, introduce resistance to pests and diseases without costly inputs, heighten crops’ tolerance to adverse weather and soil conditions, improve the nutritional value of some foods, and enhance the durability of products during harvesting or shipping. Nanobiotechnology may also offer cost-effective solutions to micronutrient malnutrition, such as vitamin A- and iron-rich crops. Nanobiotechnology could also produce plants for animal feed with modified composition that increase the efficiency of meat production and lower methane emissions. Besides plant protection and plant breeding methods, tissue culture has long been used as a relatively low-tech route to improve productivity. Also, marker assisted breeding can help speed up conventional breeding programmes, and insights from gene sequencing and bio-informatics may have a variety of uses. However, many claims and counter-claims are currently being made about the potentials for new agricultural biotechnologies in improving food and nutritional security, particularly in the developing world. These techniques can be more easily applied to develop varieties of crop species that will yield well in challenging environments. However, there is need for government and public-private collaborations to invest in agricultural nano-biotechnology-based companies, researches, or initiatives, in order to make the gene revolution beneficial to humankind, especially to people in developing countries.

Keeping these facts in view, the  Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute-National Research Institute (IHAR-PIB), Radzikow, Blonie, Poland, EUCARPIA, Society for Sustainable Agriculture and Resorce Management, India  and International Foundation for Sustainable Development in Africa and Asia, Goettingen, Germany decided to organize an International Conference on “Nanobiotechnology in plant breeding and plant protection, perspectives towards food security and sustainability“for researchers, breeders, development functionaries and policy planners to discuss such issues and draw a  coherent strategy to tackle some of the above stated issues . You and your fellow colleagues are cordially invited to join us in Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute – National Research Institute (IHAR-PIB), Radzikow, Poland, and we will be delighted to welcome you.

Prof. Rishi Behl

Prof. Dr. Edward Arseniuk
Chair, Organizing Committee

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