Friday, November 10, 2006

India's Second Green Revolution Desperately Needs Strong Support

"India has to now embark upon the second green revolution" - those words came not from the Prime Minister not the Agricultural Minister not even any politician-turned President but APJ Abdul Kalam while inaugurating the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) triennial conference. The technocrat and the visionary that he is exhorted to put receding agricultural land, depleting water resources as well as reducing number of farmers to fight impending food scarcity by launching a second green revolution. By 2020, with population growth showing no signs of reversing the trend, 340 million tonnes of food grain will need to be produced in India to remain self-reliant.
I remember the years of 1960s when India had to accept PL-480 aid from USA to tide over food crisis. The spectre of a similar crisis looms large warned the President. It is a sad commentary that while India is frenetically trying to attain the status of a super economic power, sufficient measures are not being taken to avert a repetition of the fiasco of the 1960s. The Agricultural Minister is unperturbed by rising farmers' suicides and is in the news for wrong reasons of being pushed by Rick Ponting from the presentation dais for Champions' Trophy at Mumbai. He is otherwise busy drawing up strategies to enhance his political strength by wooing Congress rebels and forging alliance with break-away parties.
Despite such political apathy to serious problems facing the nation, I could see a ray of hope in the expert solution offered by the President. This second green revolution will be materially different from the first revolution in as much as waste use, plant genomic, post harvest technologies, stress-tolerant crop variant, IT application to enrich database would be the main thrust areas. I also found his advice to enlarge work of farmers from grain production to food processing and marketing most inspiring.
The biggest thrust area for ushering in the second green revolution, however, is undoubtedly the political resolution. A scarce commodity, is it not?


Hiren said...

A political revolution can take place only if the situation goes out of control.

Satish said...

Indians are famous for their tolerance which rules out any revolution - political or otherwise. Is it not?