100 mn more face starvation due food price rise: President

February 2nd, 2009 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilBangalore, Feb 2 (IANS) The sharp rise in food prices in India last year has pushed an additional 100 million people into starvation, President Pratibha Patil said here Monday.”We need to have another green revolution which will be an evergreen revolution where agricultural production would be on a continuous upward curve,” she said while participating in the 102nd birthday celebrations of Sri Shivakumara Swami, head of the Siddaganga Math near Tumkur, about 80 km from Bangalore.

The Siddaganga Math under the leadership of Shivakumara Swami runs 130 educational institutions in Karnataka and a ‘Gurukula’ (traditional Indian residential school) where 8,000 students are provided free education, food and shelter.

Though he has completed 101 years, the Swami leads an active life. “He continues to remain sharp and agile, and still follows a rigorous work schedule,” Patil noted.

“The sharp rise in food prices last year has negatively impacted on efforts to eradicate poverty. It is estimated that an additional 100 million people now face the prospect of starvation,” the president said.

Patil said since Indian population was expected to surpass that of China, “we may need to look at our population policy. Also, to feed this population, we need to ensure that food availability is increased”.

“That can only happen if food production and productivity are augmented. Productivity can be enhanced by making available to our farmers, better seeds, necessary irrigation facilities and marketing linkages. Scientists must constantly work with farmers to acquaint them with better agricultural practices and at the same time our research efforts in the field of agriculture must continue,” she added.

Besides Shivakumara Swami, Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa attended the function.

Patil arrived here Sunday on a two-visit. She inaugurated Apollo Hospital Sunday evening and said private hospitals and government should join hands to take better healthcare facilities to villages.

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