From green to ‘evergreen revolution’
“From Green Revolution we should now move on to an Evergreen Revolution by increasing productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm”, said Dr. M.S. Swaminathan. He was speaking on the topic Bio-diversity, ‘Sustainable food security and Green economy’ at the National Symposium on Sustainable Management of Bio-diversity using science and technology.
Dr. Swaminathan observed that it is high time we switch over to methods like green agriculture, organic farming along with adopting methods like conservation farming with the help of integrated pest management, integrated nutrient supply, and integrated natural resource management. “Conservation of Biodiversity, its better utilisation, and distribution of benefits ensuring equality will lead the nation to sustainable development’. If farm ecology and economics go wrong, nothing else will go right. The interest in agriculture is on the decline; more youngsters should come forward to sustain the sector. In the field of research also, the support is diminishing” opined the celebrated scientist.
Green economy along with social inclusiveness is the policy which is to be adapted for the 21st centaury. “The future belongs to nations with grains, not guns” he added.
Dr. Swaminathan suggested a combination of ‘pre-breeding and participatory breeding’, as the new approach for the betterment of agricultural productivity. The breeds developed in laboratories must be given to farmers and they must be cultivated in large scale with the help of scientists. Traditional knowledge of rural communities must be exploited while implementing modern techniques.
He said that curbing the growth of food demand of developed countries’ is essential to reduce the rising food print which is exceeding over bio capacity. The energy wastage by rich people is one of the many reasons for diminishing productivity.
Dr. Swaminathan observed that accessibility to food is more important than availability of food. He suggested a number of policy options to improve food security including tough regulatory oversight of commodity market, increasing transparency in exchange trading and clearing of most agricultural commodity contracts. He proposed government agencies with the authority to regulate over the counter derivatives.
He hoped the government will pass the proposed Food Security Bill while ensuring adaptation of a life cycle approach with special attention to the first 1000 days in a child’s life. . “But these days, awareness and analysis are going well but no actions are being taken.” he observed.
The annual session and symposium of NASI will end tomorrow with Children’s Science Meet and Valedictory Session.