7th International Conference of Pakistan Phytopathological Society “Phytopathology: Current Scenario and Future Prospects” was organized by the Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan during November 21-23, 2021. More than 500 scientists across the country and several speakers from different countries participated in the conference.
The program was opened by Prof. Dr. Shahbaz T. Sahi (Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad), Conference Secretary, 7ICPPS. Prof. Dr. Iqrar A. Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture Faisalabadwelcomed participants of the conference and thanked the organizing team. The opening plenary then began with a retrospective by President, Pakistan Phytopathological Society, Prof. Dr. Tariq Mukhtar (Department of Plant Pathology, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi) recognizing with an overview of the recent achievements and efforts of society. Addressing the inaugural session of the conference, Mr. Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research urgedthe agriculture scientists to make integrated efforts to minimize the losses of farmers in terms of pest attack and diseases. He also focused on the climate changes that had a provoked outbreak of diseases causing a reduction in agricultural productivity.
Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan appreciated the efforts of the organizing committee. He pledged his support for the Conference and Department of Plant Pathology for future ventures. While his address in the opening plenary session, he shared that our agriculture was in the grip of different challenges despite the being of the best ecosystem and climate. According to an estimate by 2050, the country’s population will touch 10 billion for which we have to take effective measures to ensure food security. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, President, ECO Science Foundation Foundation said that 7ICPPS is a fruitful discussion forum for national and international Plant pathologists. It will provide the opportunity to bring faculty, researchers, students, scientists, farmers, and industrialists together in open dialogue related to plant health with special reference to changing climate and the possible strategies to overcome the problems. More than 200 participants presented their research as keynote addresses, oral and poster presentations in three parallel sessions at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
On the second day, a general body meeting of the members of the Pakistan Phytopathological Society was held. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Dr. Tariq Mukhrar, President, PPS, Prof. Dr. Shahbaz T. Sahi, Conference Secretary, and Dr. Abdul Rehman, Secretary General, PPS. Social Night and Gala Dinner was arranged by the conference organizing committee at Victorians Executive Marquee, Faisalabad.
On the final day, a concluding ceremony was arranged. Bursary awards were presented to the selected conference participants by Dr. Amjad Shahzad Gondal, ISPP Councilor, PPS and Dr. Abdul Rehman, Secretary General, PPS. The organizing committee announced the results of the Poster Presentation, as well as the Photo and Artwork Competition and, certificates, were presented to selected participants. Shields and Certificates were also presented to the conference organizing committee members by Prof. Dr. Shahbaz Talib Sahi, Conference Secretary, and Prof. Dr. Nazir Javed, Secretary, PPS. Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Prof. (R) Dr. Ashraf Randhawa, Prof. (R) Dr. S. M. Mughal, Prof. (R) Dr. Riaz A. Chohan, Prof. (R) Dr. Sultan M. Khan, Prof. (R) Dr. M. Irfan-Ul-Haq, Prof. (R) Dr. Abdul Rauf, and Prof. (R) Dr. Muhammad Aslam Khan.
The members appreciated the efforts of Prof. Dr. Shahbaz T. Sahi, Conference Secretary, and Dr. Abdul Rehman, Conference Chief Organizer & Secretary General, for organizing a successful conference after a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. All attendees were invited to the 8th National Conference of Pakistan Phytopathological Society, to be held at Islamia University Bahawalpur in November 2023.