Dr M S Swaminathan, the Father of India’s Green Revolution and currently UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology, delivered the GITAM Foundation Endowment Lecture 2012 in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.
Following are excerpts from his speech.
The year 2012 marks a historic transition in India from a ship- to- mouth existence to conferring the legal right to food based on homegrown food grains.
This historic transition was achieved partly through what is popularly known as the green revolution.
As early as January 1968 before the term green revolution was coined by Dr William Gaud of the United States, I warned Indian farmers about the need for mainstreaming ecological principles in farming practices.
Ever-green revolution is the only pathway available to developing countries with small farms and a large malnourished population.
The smaller the farm the greater is the need for marketable surplus.
Unlike in UK, and other industrialised nations, nearly two thirds of the population of India depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Therefore in India, as well as sub-saharan Africa, agriculture is not just a food producing machine but is the backbone of the livelihood security system of a vast majority of population.
This is why the efforts to produce more food, fodder, fiber, fuel and other farm commodities should be based upon environmentally sustainable practices.
This can be achieved both by organic agriculture and evergreen agriculture. Organic farming is more feasible if the farmer has adequate livestock population.
To be continued ....