Agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, hailed as the mentor of the Green Revolution that saw India achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrain was firm in his support for the farmers.
“In India, food production is not just about food but the basis of livelihood, very fundamental livelihood of farmers. The farmers are going through a difficult period. These difficulties have arisen from climatic aberrations, more drought, less water, more heat. So it is important that their issues get much more attention. That is why a loan waiver is important,” he contended.
Another factor adding to the farmers’ agony was poor returns for their yield despite assurances from the government, he said.
"The market conditions are affecting them as they are not getting the announced price (minimum support price). Media reports say the purchase of pulses and oil-seeds is poor as farmers are not getting the announced price," said Swaminathan referring group of 65-odd farmers from Tamil Nadu has been protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for over a month, demanding a loan waiver and restoration of Modi government abolished implementation of Cauvery Management board rulings for release of Cauvery water.
He also felt that "the central and state governments should work together to adopt a number of measures -- both short term and long term -- including the human issues of farmers, various steps to provide incentives, alleviation of human distress and revival of agriculture. Import and export policies, food pricing and food policy are also important,” he added.
Swaminathan was chairman of the committee that prepared a report on the More Crop and Income Per Drop of Water initiative.
He said there should now be an “Evergreen Revolution” and defined this as “increase in productivity in perpetuity where ecology and technology go hand-in-hand”.
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