Calling upon the scientific community to double its efforts in harnessing science to meet challenges in food, nutrition and water, renowned agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan said here on Monday that science could lead to “evergreen revolution in agriculture” aimed at increasing productivity without associated ecological or social harm.
Dr. Swaminathan, also the senior-most former president of the Indian Science Congress Association was speaking to delegates at the valedictory session of 100th Indian Science Congress held in the city from January 3 to January 7.
“The future in my view belongs to the country with grains not guns,” he said, adding that India had come a long way from “ship-to-mouth” existence to “conferring the legal right of food to all with home grown food” under the proposed National Food Security Bill of India.
Referring to concerns over the rise in prices of fertilisers expressed by many, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said that the fertiliser-use efficiency is very low in the country at about 48 per cent. “It can be increased to 90 per cent using scientific methods,” Dr. Swaminathan said.
He later told journalists that agricultural produce from one kilogram of urea could be doubled by adopting scientific processes.
Calling for an increase in agricultural productivity in the State, Dr. Swaminathan said that West Bengal, Bihar and Assam were the sleeping giants of Indian agriculture with enormous potential to increase productivity.
Stating that empowerment of women in agriculture required special attention, he said that he had introduced a Private Members Bill in Rajya Sabha that would ensure certain basic entitlements for women.