Background

Vegetable crops are important constituent of agriculture for ensuring food and livelihood security owing to their high yield potential. Enormous diversity in vegetables fulfills dietary nutrient requirements of humans and therefore vegetables are very important constituent of our food for fulfilling nutritional security as well. The significance of vegetables in improving livelihood to farming community and attaining the nutritional security has been apprehended to the ever growing human population. In this decade the demands of vegetables has increased to several folds because of consumer awareness about the role of vegetables in human nutrition and providing ample opportunities for higher farm-income coupled with the improvement in the purchasing power. Nonetheless, in the last few decades, there has been a remarkable upsurge in the worldwide vegetable production and in present time the global trade in the vegetable has surpassed to that of cereal crops. However, still it is essential to produce more and more vegetables to fulfill the recommended minimum per capita daily requirement of 300g vegetables. Growing vegetables to meet the increasing demand in present time is a big challenge for the scientific community in the era of changing climate, which is responsible for drastic yield reduction due to biotic and abiotic stress. Emerging pests and diseases like tomato pin worm, TOSPO viruses, ELCV in okra, LCV in chili, root knot nematodes under protected cultivation etc., and erratic rainfall pattern along with rising temperature will pose newer challenges to meet sufficient production of vegetables in near future.
Since, the scope of expanding the area under vegetable is shrinking day by day, emphasis has to be made to increasing the productivity to encounter the ever growing demands of vegetables in near future. Consequently, any assessment for the vegetable productivity has to be individually considered based on the local area where it is grown. Despite technological advances, such as improved varieties, genetically modified organisms, IPM, IPNM, IDM, irrigation systems etc.; weather is still a key factor in vegetable productivity. The studies related to climate change and crop-physiology indicates that climate change represents a potential threat to sustaining global vegetable productivity growth rates necessary to keep up with the demand. Enhancing vegetable production and productivity under all these issues is a major challenge in front of scientific fraternity working in vegetable research
. In order to discuss the challenges related to production, productivity and quality in vegetable crops as well as issues related to vegetable science education, the 1st Vegetable Science Congress with a major theme on “Emerging Challenges in Vegetable Research and Education” is being organized by Indian Society of Vegetable Science, Varanasi; Agriculture University, Jodhpur and ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi during 1st-3rd, Feb, 2019 at Agriculture University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. During the congress, the delegates will get an opportunity to share the knowledge of modern tools and techniques that can be utilized in vegetable research and education to address the challenges faced by vegetable farmers.