India should develop its own food security: Bhargava
New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) India is capable of achieving 'food security' by developing its own seed technology instead of importing the know-how from the developed countries, National Knowledge Commission Vice Chairman Dr P M Bhargava said here today.
Imported technology would make the country dependent on food imports thereby eroding the farmers' capacity to produce sufficient stocks for domestic requirements, Dr Bhargava said at a seminar on 'Food Safety and Food Rights: Emerging Challenges to Health, Nutrition and Farmers Livelihood'.
Criticising the government for importing wheat, he said attempts should be made to transfer the advantages of hybrid seeds to indigenous varieties for enhancing domestic food grain production.
Dr Bhargava said no single genetically modified (GM) seeds released world-wide have successfully passed through the required tests. In India too, there was no laboratory to test the seeds and the farmers have no way to ensure that they got quality seeds.
In this context, he said Parliament should bring forth legislation to curb the import of seed technology. ''Any country that loses control over its agriculture ceases to be independent,'' he added.
Already, Dr Bhargava said, 26 per cent of the agriculture business in India was being controlled by multinationals who were in a way insulating the farmers against the latest knowledge and developments in technology and preventing them from using such technologies to their advantage.
Agriculture was one of the priority areas in which information dissemination is required with regard to seed development technology and other related areas, he added.
He pointed out that there was unbalanced and unscientific use of fertilisers with use of nitrogen being 20 times more that the potassium and phosphorus.
Suggesting the measures to bring about food security in the country, he said the Industrial Training Centres should train farmers in the latest technologies, organic farming should be made one of the priority areas for dissemination of information, pest management and traditional water harvesting should be propagated, value addition should be done through post harvest technology and road connectivity to the villages should brought about for transportation of agricultural products.
UNI ARB NK BS1629