New Delhi : A renowned Indian geneticist and international administrator, MS Swaminathan, was recently awarded the first World Agriculture Prize by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, reported The Hindu Business Line. Known as the "Father of Indian Green Revolution", his contributions to Indian agriculture were seminal in reducing India's dependence on food imports and achieving self-sufficiency.
While receiving the award instituted by the NGO, Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA), Swaminathan emphasised the critical role played by farmers: "There is no agriculture without farmers. It is the basic need of people and it cannot be commercialised."
The Vice-President called on policymakers to make agriculture their highest priority and to adopt a liberal approach while allocating resources towards it. He said, "Like we have the most favoured nation, we should give most favoured status to agriculture."
With climate change drastically altering weather patterns and impacting food production cycles, the Vice-President asked to climate-proof agriculture: "This calls for policy changes in the agriculture sector. We should focus on developing climate-resilient crops. We need to develop crops that can withstand extreme weather conditions."
To make farming a sustainable and attractive occupation for farmers, the Modi government has approved a comprehensive plan to double farmers' income by 2022.
The award carries a prize money of $100,000