Staff Reporter

KANHANGAD: Prabhakaran Nair, agricultural scientist, has called for intelligent management of soil resources in the State.

Presenting a paper at a two-day seminar on Kerala's economy with special reference to agrarian crisis in the State, which concluded at the Nehru Arts and Science College here recently, Prof. Nair, former Professor, National Chair of the Science Foundation, Royal Society, Belgium, and, currently, Senior Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, said there should be a revolutionary change in mindset on agriculture, centred on intelligent management of soil resources.

Tracing the genesis of Green Revolution, Prof. Nair said the main reason why it failed to deliver the goods in the State was its dependence on `high input technology,' which turned out to be unsustainable. There was a complete mismatch between escalating input costs and prevalent market prices, he said.

Globalisation and the thrust of the World Trade Organisation on dismantling quantitative restrictions on more than 2,000 products, most of which of agricultural origin, had aggravated the farm crisis, he added.

The State had failed to produce its priced Malabar pepper at competitive international prices, while Vietnam overtook it with a superior farm technology and market-oriented strategy, Prof. Nair said. The State's agriculture could be rescued through a shift in the development paradigm from a `commodity-based' approach to a `resource-based' approach. The State's farming being essentially homestead, a reorientation of technology based on a resource model had to be developed, he said.