Chennai: Voicing his support for farmers protesting in Delhi, noted agricultural scientist, MS Swaminathan, said that noting the conditions that have led farmers to distress, it is essential that loans of farmers across the country be waived.
Speaking to a website, the scientist, also seen as a mentor of the Green Revolution, said that like Uttar Pradesh, other states should follow suit considering the prolonged drought, climatic aberrations, and adverse market conditions.
“In India, food production is the very fundamental livelihood of farmers. The farmers need the support of the state and the central governments,” he added, speaking of the loan waiver. He added that poor returns for their yield and meagre support prices add to their woes, he said. “According to media reports, the purchase of pulses and oil-seeds is poor as farmers are not getting the announced price,” he said.
He also felt that working together, both the governments should adopt measures to provide incentives and for the revival of agriculture. “Proper import and export policies, food pricing and food policy are important,” he added. He added that GM technology, which has garnered much controversy in India, would soon become obsolete with nanotechnology coming into play.
He was speaking about the push for commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops in India and the opposition to this by environment activists. He added that there was no clear public policy on GM crops.
“We have only one GM crop (cotton) now, which is failing due to new pests. Now, nanotechnology is coming, which will make GM technology obsolete. Gene therapy technology has come,” Swaminathan, who has earlier served as the Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research said.