"There is need to ensure food for all": Swaminathan

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Bangalore, Sept 20 (UNI) Noted Agriculture Scientist M S Swaminathan today said that there is a need for ensuring food for all through a few instruments such as a land use advisory system based on the integration of data from meteorological and marketing factors and a market intellegence system.

Delivering a special lecture on "Contribution of Farmers of India in Providing Food Security to more than One billion people of India" here, he said that these instruments would help to safeguard the interest of farmers on the one hand and to ensure adequate grains reserves through timely imports when needed.

"The policy of allowing large multinational corporations to mop up our wheat surplus is a fatal in terms of timing," he said.

Stating that the National Commission of Farmers had suggested a pricing policy for procurement for public good, he said that it is prudent to adopt this system as soon as possible.

He also gave an example of China in regard to the efficient price and food management.

"The sooner we develop our capacity to take informed proactive decisions and action to maintain substantial grain reserves and to universalise our PDS, the greater will be the possibility for avoiding both a 'ship to mouth' existance and widespread food riots, he said.

A sustainable maanagement of natural resources like water occupies a pivotal position in our life suppurt systems, he said adding thta there is a need for a well planned water literacy movement in the country.

"The water crisis we are experiencing in parts of the country is more related to water management, rather than to water scarcity," he said.

"Our farmers have helped the country to achieve a fair degree of self-sufficiency in food requirements at current level of consumption," he said.

India's agriculture is at cross roads and if farm ecology and economic go wrong, nothing else can go right in agriculture, he said.

Farmers need a life saving support in the area of conservation farming and work and income security for enhancment of productivity, he said.

Prof Swaminathan delivered the lecture to mark the 79th birthday felicitation programme of Union Planning Minister M V Rajashekaran.

UNI

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