Speech by Dr Swaminathan (Agro Fest 2016)

The father of GREEN REVOLUTION in India, Dr M S Swaminathan, SZKP awarded the first BHARAT KRISHI RATNA to him on 18th Feb 2016, was very humble at the award function, Sindhudurg. He said the nation required great efforts were to bring knowledge from lab to farm & from farmer to farmer which resulted in green revolution.

But today, we are required to put extra great efforts to support farmers, We must ensure that the farmer gets his dues, MSP (minimum support price)which will 1.5 times his expense, we need implement measures to save every drop of water, increase the fertility of soil natural way, process agricultural produce..

Dr Swaminathan argued for implementation of his commission report, submitted to government in 2006, which will correct the situation, rectify the ill-effects of increased use of fertilisers ..

Watch his short speech, written below is excerpt from his 7-minute speech

I am sorry, I am speaking in English but I am very happy today to be here among the farmers of Konkan, especially the women farmers who are real hero of Indian farming history. I am very happy to see many women farmers here and I respect their contribution as they work 60% in their farms, one day I am sure, they will be rewarded with their dues as most of the time their dues are neglected, there are many problems like kisan credit card are not given to them or they are stripped of the ownership right. I am more happy to note that this function is being organised on the eve of birthday of legendary Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This award is precious to me as is given by farmers & I value anything which is given by farmers & I thank the farmers here.

We underestimate the knowledge of kisan. We insist on knowledge transfer from laboratory to land, but I gave more importance to land to land & farmer to farmer knowledge transfer. We have made arrangements in our foundation with dormitories where farmers stay & learn from each other. The farmer to farmer learning proves the fact that the farmers is also a scientist. We should strive for Sharing of knowledge from farmer to farmer in addition to scientist to farmer, both are important.

I watched with keen interest the short play presented by children of farmers at the start of this programme, which brought out all the problems of farmers. In spite all the problems faced by them, our farmers are doing their best to save this country from starvation. Our prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who coined JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN, asked countrymen to fast for one day, unless we do this we can not meet our requirement for food-grains. in 1947, only 30% got food-grains.

Today the country should assure the income to farmers, look at the income of other people & income of 65% of population. Natural Rubber, we hvve highest yield after Malasia… but the farmers of Kerala were crying literally as the rubber price is so low. People ask me why have you placed so much emphasis on the pricing & minimum support price, I say without money how does farmer invest in farming, he has to have some money to spare for him. We should speak in one voice that our income security must be protected.

The world is also undergoing a lot of ecological changes, climate change or the global warming. We hear about hail-storms, floods. I know what has Maharashtra has gone through. In such situation, any policy which ensures income security is important.

I thank you all, My only motivation to come here that I have received enough awards in life, I value this award the most because this comes from Kisans of this country. I should be grateful & I will continue to advocate your cause.Farmers Commission Report is the voice of farmers & therefore we will continue to fight, farmers feed the country & the country must show the gratitude.