President calls for ever-Green Revolution

August 14th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) At a time when India’s Green Revolution in agriculture was derided overseas, President Pratibha Patil Thursday pushed for its second version to ensure the country’s food security and development. “We must not forget that the food security of India is dependent on the growth of its agriculture,” Patil said in her address to the nation on the eve of India’s 62nd Independence Day.

“We should aim at enhancing productivity by using better technology and innovative farming practices, with the active participation of the panchayats (village councils),” the president said.

“At the same time, our scientists and agricultural research institutes must work to usher in a second Green Revolution, which, along with agro-biotechnology, can translate into an ever-Green Revolution in India.”

The president’s remarks came against the backdrop of remarks by Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, that the Green Revolution in India only worked for a “short time” and was now leading to “disasters”.

“Look at India’s Green Revolution. It worked for a short time but now the price is being paid,” Charles, an environmentalist and campaigner against genetically modified food, told the Daily Telegraph of London.

“I have been to the Punjab where you have seen the disasters that have taken place as a result of the over-demand on irrigation because of the hybrid seeds and grains that have been produced which demand huge amounts of water.”

President Patil said she had always advocated that special attention needed to be given to the development of agriculture and rural areas, as 70 percent of India’s population still lived in villages and depended on farming.

“Therefore, the development of India will not be comprehensive or complete till there is development in rural areas and increased agricultural productivity,” said Patil in her second such address after assuming office on July 25 last year.

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