At an international dialogue, scientists stressed the need for a second green revolution

The private sector would play a significant role in the next green revolution, said Robert S. Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute.

Speaking at an international dialogue, ‘Take it to the Farmer’, commemorating the birth centenary of Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) here on Thursday, Dr. Zeigler said, “We now have the means to create a second green revolution. I am absolutely convinced that we have created the platform for the next green revolution.”

He stressed the need for new varieties of rice resistant to flood, drought and salinity. “Eastern India will be the granary of the nation in years to come. Four million farmers are already growing flood-tolerant rice in India,” he said.

Planning Commission member K. Kasturi Rangan highlighted various measures taken by the Centre to actively involve farmers in planning, knowledge transfer and the implementation of schemes. “There is need to recognise farmers as producers of knowledge and this can be created through a shared environment,” he said.

M.S. Swaminathan, chairman emeritus, MSSRF, emphasised the contribution of Norman Borlaug in bringing about a change in the farming scenario at a crucial time when India was threatened by famine and was dependent on external food aid.

“Working closely with Borlaug was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. He left his footprints on the sands of time in the farming scenario of India,” said Prof. Swaminathan.

“Farmers must not be looked upon as beneficiaries, but as partners. Technology is important, but what is even more critical is political commitment,” he said.

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