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Father of farm holds hope for East

Ranchi, Dec. 19: The East has the potential and it fulfils all the pre-conditions to be developed for “new green revolution” in future, said father of green revolution M.S. Swaminathan. He anticipates a “new fertile crescent in eastern India”.

“The area is untapped and intelligent use of the same would ensure next phase of green revolution here as the country is increasingly becoming food-insecure,” he said. “In 1968, at the beginning of the green revolution, it was farmers of Punjab, Haryana and eastern Uttar Pradesh that reaped the benefit of latest technologies, hybrid seeds and inorganic fertilisers. But now water is a major concern. East is better-off,” he said.

He suggested change in cropping pattern and a shift from kharif plantation. “More emphasis should be given on Rabi crops and flood-tolerant varieties in places like Assam and Bihar,” he added.

He would be visiting Gumla and Simdega in Jharkhand tomorrow along with his Rajya Sabha colleague Mabel Rebello and top officials of the state government. He voiced concern over the role of agricultural universities, as, “they are not up to the expectations when it comes to benefits of education, research and extension to real farmers”.

“Agriculture varsities have an important role to play as we are reaching a food-insecure state. Youths are not inclined to take up the sector as a career and 40 per cent farmers want to abandon farming. This is not a good sign,” he said.

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