Toronto, Canada: India will soon be the first country in the world “to enact a food security entitlement act under which every family below the poverty line will get 35 kg of grain”, said M S Swaminathan.
“The country will have to use cutting-edge technology – remote sensing, the internet, cable and phone networks – to increase farm production and incomes. Our manufacturing, IT and other sectors may be growing very fast, but it will all be meaningless if the farming sector doesn’t grow fast,” He added.
One of the pioneers of the Green Revolution in India, Swaminathan said India cannot depend on volatile global markets to ensure its food security and it will have to ramp up its own output.
Swaminathan will receive the honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta for his contribution to food security in the world.
Since the Indian farming sector is the largest private enterprise in the world employing about 60 per cent of its population, he said he was happy that the government was paying huge attention to this sector through legislation and high-end technology.
Described as “the father of economic ecology” by the UN Environment Programme, Swaminathan said, “India cannot depend on the global market to feed our 1.2 billion people. This year, Russia banned export of wheat for its needs. So what do we do? India has no option but to depend on its home-grown food.”
Since India is notorious for its food and horticulture wastage owing to lack of cold storage facilities, he said, “I have recommended a national grid of 50 ultra-modern grain stores, each with a capacity of one million tonnes. The government is trying to rope in the private sector for this task.”