Regrets disinterest of the younger generation in agriculture

Eminent agricultural scientist and Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan on Monday regretted that youngsters were apathetic to farming and that large tracts of prime agricultural lands were being used for non-agricultural purposes.

Delivering the first of the Dr. Verghese Kurien memorial lecture series organised by the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Dr. Swaminathan said “disinterest of the younger generation in farming and the consequent diversion of prime farm land for non-farm purposes” was a matter of concern.

He advocated group launches of agri-clinic-cum-agri-business centres throughout the country that would address the needs of farming families.

Dr. Swaminathan spoke on “The Cooperative Pathway of Enhancing Rural Livelihood and Nutrition Security.” He pointed to various problems confronting agriculture and the lessons it could learn from the dairy sector.

“The achievements of our dairy sector,” he said, “show that small-scale dairy farming need not be a handicap if the technologies of production by the masses and of mass production can be integrated in a suitable manner.”

Dr. Swaminathan, who is also considered the father of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India, underlined the need for interdisciplinary attention, among other things.

The lecture was attended by Dr. Kurien’s widow Molly and daughter Nirmala, the IRMA alumni, faculty and staff, and senior employees of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, the National Dairy Development Board and the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI) and other sister organisations at Anand.

The memorial lecture will be an annual feature. Dr. Kurien, known as the father of India’s ‘White Revolution,’ died in September.

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