Father of Green Revolution Dr Swaminathan wary of environmental damage due to intensive farming
Pune: “Agriculture today is at crossroads. The national plan is to double the income of farmers in five years. Crop intensification and integrated farming are the answers to this. However, doubling the income has to be done without harm to the environment,” said Dr MS Swaminathan, father of the Green Revolution.
Swaminathan was delivering the keynote address at a symposium on ‘Science and Technology Research, Directions for Rural Development’ recently, organised by BAIF Development Research Foundation as a part of its golden jubilee celebration.
“Modern science is progressing fast, especially animal science, more than crop science. Ecology, economics and climate issues are the major concerns for improving crop production through agricultural productivity. At the end of the symposium, we should have a sense of priority about animal husbandry, crops and trees,” he said, while calling upon scientists and development practitioners to save animals as animal nutrition has suffered due to bifurcation of agriculture.
Earlier, Dr Narayan Hegde, Trustee of BAIF, referred to the address by the PM on the occasion of BAIF’s golden jubilee last month, wherein the PM invited BAIF to replicate its successful model of poverty alleviation in backward regions of the country. This, he reiterated, was an opportunity for BAIF to collaborate with various national institutions.
Hegde lamented that in agriculture and veterinary professions, the role of identifying the right prescription was missing. He said, “Animal science in BAIF has become demystified now as any farmer owning three cows can come out of poverty by earning Rs 60,000 to Rs 150,000 per annum. The next 50 years is our challenge and welfare of farmers to make significant contribution to the nation is the mission of BAIF.”
Key presentations at the event focussed on ‘Genomic selection initiatives in BAIF’s Livestock Development Programme’, ‘Water Resource Development and Research Initiatives in BAIF Programme’ and ‘Climate resilient farming - current status and future directions’.