It is indeed a pleasure and honour to organize the International Conference on Banana 2020 along with Bioversity International, Rome and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. I thank the Society for Promotion of Horticulture, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru; for hosting this event on behalf of ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirapalli. Banana is an important tradable commodity and a source of livelihood for millions of resource poor farmers in many tropical and subtropical countries. In this era of climate change and other environmental concerns, it is imperative to evolve sustainable strategies for banana production, postharvest processing and waste utilization.
This mega event will be a complete package that will provide an opportunity for researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss the opportunities, challenges and threats facing the banana industry and help evolve mitigating strategies, identify research gaps, and provide solutions. It will pave the way for inter-institutional germplasm exchange and collaborative research programmes on banana improvement, production and protection. This Conference will also provide a forum for students, aspiring scientists and entrepreneurs for exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences and help establish linkages and partnerships in research and business. On behalf of the organizing committee, I welcome banana researchers, students, entrepreneurs, farmers and other stakeholders to participate in this mega event and make it a success.