Thrissur: A realistic assessment of the effects of green revolution is imperative, farm minister V. S. Sunil Kumar has said. Speaking as part of the eleventh Dr K.N. Shyamasundaran Nair memorial lecture organised by Kerala Agricultural University at Vellanikkara here the other day, he said even while appreciating the gains of the green revolution, the effect it had on our environment and biodiversity needed to be properly assessed.
“We are witnessing a hue and cry for organic agriculture and the biggest argument favouring it is the alleged ill effects of green revolution on our soil fertility and biodiversity. Hence we have to analyse these factors scientifically,” he said. “Dr Nair became the Planning Board member and KAU vice-chancellor during the early years of globalisation, and he had a clear vision of things in store. His sincerity, simplicity and democratic functioning have created a model.”
Dr B. EKbal, a former Kerala University vice-chancellor, delivered the commemorative lecture on ethical and social implications of the genomic revolution. “The advancement of genomics has brought unprecedented power to humanity, but with the intricacy of ethical dilemmas.Though there are unresolved issues and much scope for introspection, genomics is under attack for wrong reasons. The public debate and discussions on it are superficial. What we need is expert assisted discussions at the grassroots level and proper dissemination of corret information,” he noted.
He also said that genomic revolution opened a slippery slope, and at least some of the apprehensions regarding the health of people in developing countries were pertinent. But genomic revolution along with advancements in information technology is set to form a powerful reality of scientific, technological and commercial phalanx with a profound impact on all aspects of life.
“So we could and should not ban the research blindly,” he said. “The duty of academic community is to give it a positive direction and use its endless possibilities for the benefit of the mankind, simultaneously fighting the unethical business interests.” K. Rajan MLA, KAU vice-chancellor Dr P. Rajendran, registrar Dr K. Aravindakshan, director of extension Dr S. Estelitta were present.