Need For An ‘Evergreen Revolution’ In Agricultural Sector: PM
Business World, May 27,2017
On 19 May in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for ‘evergreen revolution’ to meet some of the challenges faced in the agricultural sector On 19 May in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for ‘evergreen revolution’ to meet some of the challenges faced in the agricultural sector. He also asked the scientific and technological community to dwell into possibilities for the creation of agriculture clusters, on the pattern of industrial sectors, so that different regions of the country can be identified by particular crops, which correspond to the agriculture cluster in that region, which would help in streamlining of storage and transportation, means for which differ with different crops.
“The challenge in the agriculture sector remains. We keep talking about green revolution-I and green revolution-II. But the goal should be ‘evergreen revolution’. We should have sustainable agricultural production and work towards removing regional imbalances,” said the Prime Minister, and emphasized the need to move to the concept of ‘nutrition security’ than ‘food security’, for which he advocated scientific and technological intervention. This was at an event in New Delhi, where a two-part book series on eminent scientist MS Swaminathan was being released. One book is titled ‘MS Swaminathan: The Quest for a World without Hunger’ which details ’50 years of Green Revolution: An Anthology of Research Papers’ of the scientist. The other book, authored by PC Kesavan is called ‘MS Swaminathan: Legend in Science and Beyond’.
The Prime Minister added that the government is working towards this direction, to fulfil its ‘dream’ of doubling farmer’s income by 2022, when India celebrates its 75th Independence Day. He spoke about the problem of malnutrition and the need to increase the nutrition quotient of pulses, and the need to address ‘economic imbalance’ in the country, as the “the country cannot run for long with the imbalance”. Calling for a mapping of the potential of different regions in the country, the Prime Minister suggested integration of the scientific ways of agriculture with traditional systems of farming.
“The success in agriculture needs to be extended to eastern India and scientific and technological interventions are required to make this a reality,” said Modi, adding that “The population is increasing but the land is not going to increase. We have to see how the productivity increases. There should be more production in less land.” “The idea is to have less cost, more production,” he added, and reinstated his slogans of ‘per drop, more crop’ and ‘lab to land’, emphasizing the need for more scientific research in agriculture, echoing the sentiment by Dr Shenggen Fan, director-general of IFPRI, during a Sustainable Development and Agriculture conference earlier this month.
The Prime Minister noted the success of his Fasal Bima Yojana program, where crop insurance had recorded a seven-fold jump within a year of its launch, and mentioned water scarcity as a huge problem which needs to be addressed with a vision of at least 50 years, saying that people should be sensitised to the seriousness of the issue as “The water problem should be seen as equivalent to the human problem”. “For cost-effective farming, there is a need for water,” said Modi, mentioning schemes like PM Krishi Sichai Yojana and interlinking of rivers. He praised Swaminathan for his humility despite having seen so many Prime Ministers.
Swaminathan said the country has not seen any famine after the ‘great Bengal famine’ but “there is no time to relax” as there is “so much to do” to ensure “nutrition security wherein everybody gets balanced food, clean drinking water and sanitation.” Several union ministers and agricultural scientists were also present at the function.