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Green Revolution didn’t help farmers: agricultural varsity VC

‘Fruits of technological advancements have not reached farmers’

January 08, 2016 12:00 am | Updated September 22, 2016 10:52 pm IST - RAICHUR:

P.M. Salimath, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur, speaking at a workshop on Thursday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

P.M. Salimath, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur, speaking at a workshop on Thursday. —PHOTO: SANTOSH SAGAR

P.M. Salimath, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur, has said that Green Revolution did not help farmers much, though it played a crucial role in meeting the country’s food security goals.

He was addressing a workshop titled ‘Yuvakara Nade Krishiya Kade’ here on Thursday. The two-day event was organised by the university, the Department of Agriculture and International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics.

“Farming sector has undergone fundamental transformations with tremendous technological advancements and innovations leading to increase in productivity. However, the fruits of these advancements did not reach farmers and transform their lives for the better. Green Revolution did play a decisive role in addressing country’s food security issues, considering the increase in country’s foodgrain production from 50 million metric tonnes in the 1940s to 240 million metric tonnes now. However, it unfortunately failed to address the deteriorating financial conditions of farmers,” Mr. Salimath said.

Chamarasa Malipatil, State president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, slammed successive governments for bending to the pressures of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and for facilitating multinational corporations in the farm sector to over-exploit farmers.

“It is the WTO agreement that led to the agrarian crisis and farmers’ suicides in the country. By signing the treaty, India opened its gates for multinational corporations to exploit farmers by selling seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, machinery and other farm inputs for higher prices to them. Rising cost of cultivation caused by the escalation of input prices and falling prices of output is increasingly pushing farmers from the sector. Earlier, only those farmers from rain-fed areas used to migrate to cities in search of jobs during drought. But, now even farmers from irrigation belt are migrating in large numbers,” he said. Mr. Salimath stressed the need for addressing the deepening farm crisis and turning it into a profit-making sector to help migrated farmers.

Hanumanagwoda Belagurki, member of Agriculture Price Commission, said that corporate-driven agriculture policies and concentration on technology and research that were useless for farmers were responsible for the deepening agrarian crisis.

B.V. Patil, former Vice-Chancellor; UAS-R; T. Sheshadri, Director of Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore; B.S. Janagowdar, Director of Research, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad; T.H. Gowda, Director of Extension, University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot; and M. Kiran Kumar, Joint Director, Department of Agriculture, were present.

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