Jagjivan-heralded Green Revolution need of the hour: PM

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Green Revolution heralded by late Babu Jagjivan Ram as Agriculture Minister in the late 1960s was needed to be replicated now in the wake of increasing threat to the country's food security due to stagnating foodgrains production.

Showering rich tributes on Babuji whose birth centenary is being celebrated as ''Agriculture Revolutions, Inclusive Growth and Synergy of Public Policies and Scientific Research", Dr Singh said during his tenure as Agriculture Minister, the country achieved self-sufficiency in foodgrains production ending the 'hand-to-mouth' existence of the Indians.

Indian agriculture is facing the same crisis what it was confronting when Babuji took over the reigns of the Agriculture Ministry."But Babuji provided a visionary leadership in making a difference to our agriculture sector... we once agian need such vision and such leadership if our agriculture is to meet the requirements of the coming decades," said the Prime Minister, while inaugurating a seminar on 'how to rivatalise the agriculture' at Vigyan Bhawan.

"The agriculture is highly indebted to Babuji for his immense contribution which needs renewed attention today," Dr Singh said. " Babuji, who came from an extrtmely deprived background and highly caste conscious region, had rendered service to those at the margins of the society - small and marginal farmers and landless labourer," he added.

Babuji became Agriculture Minister twice in 1967 and 1974.

Remembering his contributions, Dr M S Swaminathan, who had worked in various capacities when Babuji was the Agriculture Minister, said the late leader had a great insight into agriculture and irrigation-related problems. He paid special attention to thedevelopment of hybrid seeds of wheat and rice and extension of irrigation command areas by undertaking minor irrigation projects as well as the watershed programme at a bigger scale.

Dr Swaminathan said now the country needed to take up a holistic view of the farming sector to make agriculture sustainable through the adoption of organic agriculture, and integrated farm management techniques. In the process, the small and marginal farmers should be fully activised and involved to have an inclusive development in the rural areas, constituting around 70 per cent of the country's population. There should be a synergy between scientific research, extension serivces, now availed only by 8.4 per cent farmers, he added.

ICAR Director General Mangla Rai and NDDB chairperson Amita Patel also participated in the seminar.

UNI JSS KD GC1443

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