‘Adarsha rythu’ goes global

Attends prize distribution event in U.S.

Mekala Velangan Reddy is progressive ryot of Jangaon area

Reddy advocates use of biotech technique in paddy too

HYDERABAD: Use of biotechnology in cotton cultivation has taken Mekala Velangan Reddy (37), a progressive farmer of Narmetta mandal, Jangaon division of Warangal district, far.

Since 2004, not only has he been able to increase the output, earn more, but also go international.

Reddy was one of the 20 farmers from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and North/South America to take part in the Third Annual Global Farmer-to-Farmer Round Table in Iowa (US) from October 15-17 this year, as a representative of the Truth About Trade and Technology (TATT).

It is a non-profit advocacy group of American farmers, which supports global expansion of access to technology, including biotechnology.

He was among the two farmers from India (the other was from Nagpur) to attend the World Food Prize distribution function on October 14-15, which is equivalent to Nobel Prize in agriculture sector.

Berlin interaction

In September 2007, Reddy had attended an interaction on biotechnology in Berlin, when he had an opportunity to exchange views with MPs and journalists.

He was invited to enlighten the gathering on the adoption of biotech techniques for maize.

A recipient of ‘Adarsha Rytu’ Award in 2005, Reddy told The Hindu that participation in international fora had broadened his views on the use of biotechnology practices in chilli, maize and paddy cultivation.

Urgent need

He stressed that the Centre’s approval for use of biotechnology, pending since two years was urgent in the case of paddy, in view of the ‘steep’ fall in production and rising price of rice.

If the use is permitted, as done in the case of cotton, not only will the prices drop, but farmers will stand to benefit through increase in yield.

“This becomes particularly important in view of the fact that we can’t expand cultivable land and water resource. It is absolutely necessary if the growing needs of the ever-rising population are to be met,” Mekala VelanganReddy concludes.

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