‘Science and public policy are important to change the ecology and economics of agriculture’

Eminent agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan urged young engineering graduates to study methods of food storage and come up with effective ways to preserve food grains in warehouses without their getting affected by moisture.

Both science and public policy are important to understand and bring changes to the ecology and economics of agriculture, he said. Prof. Swaminathan was speaking at the fourth convocation of St. Peter’s University.

Over 1,000 students were awarded graduation certificates in the ceremony.

“From a country that could not feed itself, we have now reached a stage where we can legally assure citizens of food,” he said, talking of the recently passed Food Security Act. The problem of extensive human hunger can be solved using science to change the architecture of plants to make them high-yielding. Studying nutrition, he said, was really important, to address the problem of hidden hunger and malnutrition in the country.

Also, it is important to learn the art of science communication, Prof. Swaminathan said. “While scientists feel everything is safe, people have their doubts regarding genetically modified foods and nuclear energy. It is important to communicate the message in a language they are comfortable with.”

T. Banumathi, chancellor, St. Peter’s University, faculty members and research scholars of the university participated in the function.

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