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M.S. Swaminathan Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Government of India President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs Looking Back.

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Presentation on theme: "M.S. Swaminathan Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Government of India President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs Looking Back."— Presentation transcript:

1 M.S. Swaminathan Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Government of India President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs Looking Back at the Green Revolution Des Moines 19 October 2006 The World Food Prize 2006 International Symposium

2 Statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, South Africa where he was thrown out of a first class compartment This year marks the centenary of Gandhi’s non-violent, non-cooperation movement which inspired among others Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Cory Aquino

3 “To a people famishing and idle, the only acceptable form in which God can dare appear is work and promise of food as wages”

4 “Everything else can wait, but not Agriculture” Jawaharlal Nehru, August 14-15, 1947 India’s tryst with destiny Agriculture is the Greatest Living, Private Sector Industry of India providing Livelihood to over 600 million persons

5 oAdherance to a democratic system of governance from the village to the national level oGreen Revolution leading to adequate food availability (from begging bowl to bread basket) The most significant achievements of the first 50 years August 14-15, 1997 : Fiftieth Anniversary of India’s Independence Shri. K. R. Narayanan, President of India, August 14-15, 1997

6 Pope John Paul II discussing the management of the Sahelian Drought, 1983

7 HaitiCan’t- be-saved EgyptCan’t-be-saved The GambiaWalking Wounded TunisiaShould Receive Food Libya Walking Wounded IndiaCan’t-be-saved PakistanShould Receive Food - Paul and William Paddock, 1967 Famine: Triage Classification of Countries

8 Daruma (Japanese semi-dwarf) X Fultz (U.S. winter wheat, high yield) Fultz-Daruma (semi-dwarf, high yield) Locals (adapted to U.S. Northwest) X X Turkey Red (U.S. winter, high yield) Norin 10 (semi-dwarf, winter, high yield) (Dr Gonziro Inazuka in 1935) Gaines (semi-dwarf, winter, U.S. adpted) X Local Strains New Wheats (semi-dwarf, high yield, adaptable, rust-resistant, fast-maturing,spring) Era of Sharing of Genetic Resources

9 Wheat Revolution Symphony (1968) (Pan GoI Approach) oTechnology oServices oPublic Policies oFarmers’ enthusiasm

10 “Brimming with enthusiasm, hard-working, skilled and determined, the Punjab farmer has been the backbone of the revolution. Revolutions are usually associated with the young, but in this revolution, age has been no obstacle to participation. Farmers, young and old, educated and uneducated, have easily taken to the new agronomy. It has been heart-warming to see young college graduates, retired officials, ex- armymen, illiterate peasants and small farmers queuing up to get the new seeds. At least in the Punjab, the divorce between intellect and labour, which has been the bane of our agriculture is vanishing” Secret of Success : Farmer – Scientist Partnership - M S Swaminathan “The Punjab Miracle”, The Illustrated Weekly of India, May 11, 1969

11 “Intensive cultivation of land without conservation of soil fertility and soil structure would lead ultimately to the springing up of deserts. Irrigation without arrangements for drainage would result in soils getting alkaline or saline. Indiscriminate use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides could cause adverse changes in biological balance as well as lead to an increase in the incidence of cancer and other diseases, through the toxic residues present in the grains or other edible parts. Unscientific tapping of underground water would lead to the rapid exhaustion of this wonderful capital resource left to us through ages of natural farming. The rapid replacement of numerous locally adapted varieties with one or two high yielding strains in large contiguous areas would result in the spread of serious diseases capable of wiping out entire crops, as happened prior to the Irish potato famine of 1845 and the Bengal rice famine of 1942. Therefore, the initiation of exploitative agriculture without a proper understanding of the various consequences of every one of the changes introduced into traditional agriculture and without first building up a proper scientific and training base to sustain it, may only lead us into an era of agricultural disaster in the long run, rather than to an era of agricultural prosperity.” - M.S. Swaminathan Indian Science Congress, Varanasi, January 4, 1968 Sustainable Food Production

12 Will Malthus Continue to be Wrong? We need to set priorities, understand reasons that make ecosystems resistant or vulnerable; also whether stressed ecosystems, such as marine fisheries, have a threshold at which they won’t recover India will be the most populated country in the world by 2030 What don’t we know? 1 July 2005 Vol 309 Science Some questions we face in Biology today

13 Green Revolution : Commodity- centred increase in productivity Change In plant architecture, and harvest index Change in the physiological rhythm- insensitive to photoperiodism Lodging resistance Evergreen Revolution : increasing productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm Organic agriculture : cultivation without any use of chemical inputs like mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides Green Agriculture : cultivation with the help of integrated pest management, integrated nutrient supply and integrated natural resource management systems Ecoagriculture : Based on conservation of soil, water and biodiversity and the application of traditional knowledge and ecological prudence EM Agriculture : system of farming using effective microorganisms (EM) White agriculture : System of agriculture based on substantial use of microorganisms, particularly fungi One-straw Revolution : system of natural farming without ploughing, chemical fertilizers, weeding and chemical pesticides and herbicides Green Revolution and Evergreen Revolution : Pathways

14 Threats to an Ever-green Revolution oInvasive Alien Species oAbiotic Stresses oBiotic Stresses oMarket factors oClimate Change oConstraints in the exchange of genetic resources oIPR and access to technologies oDiminishing support to public good research

15 Biodiversity & Molecular Breeding : Mangroves “There are no useless plants” - Charaka

16 Open field trial of a transgenic rice plant with Superoxide dismutase gene from Avicennia marina Field Trails being carried out at Kalpakkam

17 Prosopis juliflora has wide adaptation to water stress and drought conditions Used as source material for drought tolerant genes Control36 days of water withdrawal Genetic Shield Preparing for adverse changes in precipitation

18 Our ability to achieve a paradigm shift from green to an ever-green revolution and our ability to face the challenges of global warming and sea level rise will depend upon our ability to harmonise organic farming and the new genetics. The Way Ahead

19 Post Harvest Processing & Value addition Water BankCommunity Gene Bank Seed Bank Cultivation Community Grain Bank Participatory Breeding Field Gene Bank ConsumptionGenetic Enhancement Conservation Community Food, Nutrition and Water Security System

20 Livestock and Livelihoods Over 50 million women and 15 million men are involved in Dairy Enterprises in India Farming Systems Diversification and Value Addition 8% growth rate in horticulture and animal husbandry will be necessary to achieve 4% growth rate in agriculture as a whole India : Largest Producer of Milk in the World

21 Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy for Rural Prosperity [NVA] State Level Hub (MSSRF) Data Managers (both connectivity and content) Data Generators & Providers Data Users (Rural families) Block level hub Uplink Satellite Web based interactive portal ICT-enabled knowledge flow Lab to Lab, Lab to Land, Land to Lab, Land to Land

22 Torch bearers of the Rural Knowledge Revolution

23 Life saving role of VKC during Tsunami (26 December 2004)- VEERAMPATTINAM Ht+and+Dir+Series/index.html

24 Population rich but land hungry countries like China and India have no option except to produce more food grains and other agricultural commodities per units of land and water under conditions of diminishing per capita availability of arable land and irrigation water, and of expanding biotic and abiotic stresses. Such a challenge can be met only by harnessing the best in frontier technologies and blending them with our rich heritage of ecological prudence. Eco- technologies for an Ever-green revolution should be the bottom line of our strategy to shape our agricultural future. No Time to Relax Shaping our Agricultural Future

25 Iowa gifted to the world great visionaries and missionaries like Henry Wallace, Norman Borlaug, Aldo Leopold and George Washington Carver. Norman Borlaug’s epic fight against hunger is well known. George Washington Carver served as an Advisor to Mahatma Gandhi on matters relating to eliminating poverty and improving human nutrition. It is therefore appropriate that Iowa is the home to the World Food Prize Foundation. George Washington Carver

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