Prof. MS Swaminathan receives 1st World Agriculture Prize

Agriculture has been the foremost engagement of human beings ever since their existence and will continue to be imperative as food is necessary for survival. The change in lifestyle of people from their nomadic way of life to the settled way of life has become possible because of development and adoption of early agriculture practices. In this journey of change from famine to food sufficiency and from hunger and malnutrition to healthy diets, many individuals and institutions have played important roles.

Renowned agricultural scientist and the chief architect of the green revolution in India, Prof. MS Swaminathan was awarded the very 1st World Agriculture Prize for his immense contributions to Indian agriculture by Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on 26 October.

Naidu called the eminent agricultural scientist as a Vishwaguru in Agriculture, a teacher and a scholar who continues to leave his inspirational, ideational thoughts and prints on the world. He also said that Prof. Swaminathan ushered in green revolution and laid a firm foundation for India’s food security. His vision and lucidity of expression have captivated more than a whole generation of agricultural scientists, he added. 

The Vice President also called up on the policy makers to accord highest priority to agriculture as it provides employment to more than 50 percent of the population. He urged them to have positive bias towards agriculture and rural areas while allocating resources.  

We need to accord the most favored status for agriculture to give impetus to the farmers and provide infrastructure, irrigation, investment, insurance and credit, the Vice President said.  Stressing the need to re-think the development paradigm and see how we can make agriculture more economically viable and attractive, Shri Naidu called for regular and effective coordination between scientists, policy makers and farmers to make it sustainable. 

Concerned over the decrease in number of people engaged in agriculture, the Vice President called for concerted, coordinated action to address a number of issues that impact the growth of agriculture sector and the quality of life of people who depend primarily on this sector.  

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Talking on the ill effects of climate Change, Shri Naidu said that it is impacting every aspect of life including agriculture and said asked scientists and policy makers to evolve strategies to cope with the changing climate, depleting resource base and increasing food demand. “This calls for policy changes in agriculture sector. We should focus on developing climate resilient crops. We need to develop crops that can withstand extreme weather conditions,” he said. 

It must be noted that the World Agriculture Prize has been instituted by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture to recognize the contribution of eminent people who served the mankind though agriculture and allied services.  The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu, the Governor of Kerala, Justice P. Sathasivam, the Minister for Agriculture, Haryana, Shri Om Prakash Dhankar and representatives of Indian Council of Agriculture and Research & Indian Council of Food and Agriculture and more than 200 farmers were also present on this occasion. 

Krishi Jagran was also part of the event wherein it met and congratulated Prof. M S Swaminathan for this great achievement. 

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Krishi Jagran