Uttar Pradesh needs to invest in post harvest management of crops, besides implementing crop diversification for higher growth rate in agricultural sector, Father of India’s Green Revolution Prof M S Swaminathan has said. The renowned plant genome scientist noted UP could achieve its targetted growth rate of 5.1% in agricultural sector during the current 12th Plan (2012-17) through proper interventions and proactive policies. He suggested focus on the dairy sector, boosting entrepreneurship in agricultural sector, providing greater marketing support and setting up more storage facilities. Talking to Business Standard here, Swaminathan pointed out there was abundant water availability in the state for farming. He said another Green Revolution in the country would be faced with three major challenges of ecology, economy and demography. While ecology pertains to protecting environment and preserving water/land, economic factors pertains to making agriculture viable.
Demography pertains to generating interest in farming among the youth. “The economics of farming is not attractive to the younger generation due to lower returns,” he lamented while underlining for better agricultural credit and insurance mechanism. Swaminathan said modern farming has to be economically viable and ecologically sustainable. “I have been talking of Ever Green Revolution for which there is no alternative than to produce more from less land without harming ecology.” He was in town for inaugurating Soil Science Congress and addressing a joint meeting of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He called upon chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and governor B L Joshi. The scientist, who is the UNESCO Chair on Ecotechnology, asked Yadav for ensuring proper child nutrition through the public distribution system (PDS). He had been rated by the US Times magazine among the 20th Asians and the 3rd most influential Indian of 20th century along with Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. The Indian Green Revolution started in 1963, wherein the government aimed at increasing production of wheat, rice, jowar, bajra and maize through high yielding and hybrid varieties. By 1968, the country’s wheat production had shot up to 17 million tonnes (MT) from 10 MT. in 1947, the wheat production had stood at 6 MT.