Swaminathan hails WTO deal on food security

Cuttack: Eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan today praised the Narendra Modi government for successfully resolving differences with the US on public stockholding of food and also complimented Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for this.

“I compliment Nirmala Sitharaman for successfully resolving the impasse over food security and safeguarding our farmers’ interest in WTO council,” said Swaminathan during an interactive session with scientists of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI).

Recounting his 60 years of association with the Cuttack institute, the 90-year-old doyen of Indian agriculture said the seeds of Green Revolution were sown in the fields of CRRI, where he began his professional career way back in 1954.

The country has progressed a long way in rice cultivation after CRRI was established here in 1948, he said, adding that rice would be the sheet anchor of our food security scheme if its nutritive property is enriched.

Stressing on sustainable rice production, Swaminathan urged the farm scientists to focus on producing more from less land, less water and less fertilizers. He said within next 30 to 40 years, rice production in India needs to increase by 50 per cent with 30 per cent less farm land available.

“Future belongs to those nations who have grains (rice and wheat) and not guns,” the visionary scientist said.

To a question on genetically modified Bt brinjal, the internationally acclaimed farm scientist suggested that an independent assessment body should be in place to assess the chronic effects and local effects of Bt brinjal.

Earlier CRRI Director Dr Trilochan Mohapatra while delivering the welcome address on the occasion described Swaminathan as the teacher of his teachers and said the institute is privileged to share the emotional bond with the great scientist.