Swaminathan urges rice scientists to focus on research

Cuttack: Eminent agricultural scientist Prof M S Swaminathan has urged scientists of Central Rice Research Institute(CRRI) here to focus on participatory and anticipatory research for fulfilling the aims of National Food Security Bill and meeting challenges of the farm sector.

Swaminathan, regarded as the architect of Indian agriculture, was speaking yesterday at the 66th Foundation Day celebrations of the premier research institute where he started his career as a scientist in early 1950s.

He said the country had for the first time in 2012 crossed the 100 million tons of rice production – a remarkable achievement against the backdrop of `ship-to-mouth` concept prevalent in early 60’s.

“From ship-to-mouth to supporting the largest scheme in the world to fight against hunger through Food Security Bill, India has made a historic achievement,“ he said adding rice scientists should now aim for 150 million tons production of rice in the year 2020.

Swaminathan stressed on new fields of research and appreciated efforts made by scientists in Kerala who are now working on below sea level farming – a concept which has received widespread attention in view of global warming and rise in sea level. Stressing on increasing productivity, Swaminathan said improving value addition to rice production was necessary and research on producing medicinal rice was the call of the day.