From distress to happiness on the farm front: M S Swaminathan
Chennai, February 16, 2016: Most of the media reports relating to farmers and farming in our country usually relate to agrarian distress and farmer suicides. Inspite of such distressing circumstances, our farmers are likely to take our foodgrain output to over 254 million tonnes during 2015-16. Thus our agriculture has reached the stage of resilience in terms of food output. If farmers are given more support in the following areas then our agriculture will witness faster growth coupled with stability. First, there should be a serious effort on saving water through rainwater harvesting for a crop live saving irrigation when needed. Second, there should be contingency plans and alternative cropping strategies to suit different monsoon probabilities. Third, there should be compensatory production programme to offset the loss during one crop season – i.e. if the rabi crop is poor, there should be an effort to increase kharif production through appropriate technologies and public policies. Food security has to be the number one priority in the Make in India Programme. In particular we should be grateful to our farm men and women who work night and day and in sun and rain to produce food even under adverse climatic conditions. They are thus converting their personal agony into national ecstasy.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.