Describing the government’s food security measure as a “significant milestone” in the country’s agricultural and social history, the President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday expressed hope that the current session of Parliament will endorse the bill replacing the ordinance.

“The year 2013 marks a significant milestone in our agriculture and social history. Last month the national food security ordinance was promulgated and on Wednesday the bill to replace the ordinance has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. I am sure that this session of Parliament will endorse the bill. This initiative is believed to be the world’s largest social protection measure against hunger” the President said.

He was addressing a function organised here to mark the 25th anniversary of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).

Mr. Mukherjee praised the initiative which aimed at making availability of food at an affordable cost, a legal right to over two third’s of the country’s population.

“Every Indian can be proud of this transition from the days of the Bengal famine of 1943 in which over three million people died, to the implementation of the right to food with our own home grown food”, he said.

The president, however, said that the rights based approach to food can be sustained only if we pay greater attention to farmers and farming.

“The national commission on farmers, chaired by Prof M.S. Swaminathan has given valuable recommendations for converting the green revolution into an ever-green revolution, resulting in higher productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

Noting that Eastern India has large untapped production potential, he said, “The future of our food security system will depend upon the progress we make in assisting farmers families in this region to produce more in an environmentally sustainable manner”.

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