Karnal, September 28
Dr MS Swaminathan, plant breeder and geneticist, had a deep connection with farmers and scientists of Haryana. He used to visit the state frequently to meet farmers and the scientific community to enquire about their issues.
Recalling his research on high-yielding wheat, rice and other crops, Dr Gurbachan Singh, former Chairman of the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) and who worked in close association with Swaminathan, said: “When he was the Director-General of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), he had given various agriculture research institutes, including CSSRI, to Haryana and nearby states.
“When I was Agriculture Commissioner, Government of India, in 2011-12, Swaminathan was a Rajya Sabha MP. There was a quantum jump in pulse production in one year as it reached 18.3 million tonnes from 14.3 million tonnes. He congratulated and hugged me in the Parliament annexe and introduced me to other MPs,” he said.
Swaminathan had visited the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), Karnal, on several occasions and guided the scientists to work on high-yielding, disease-tolerant wheat and barley varieties. He had a clear vision for steering the Green Revolution, said Dr Gyanendra Singh, Director, IIWBR.
Sharing his views, Dr AK Srivastava, former Director, NDRI, and VC of Veterinary University Mathura, stated that Swaminathan was not only a crop scientist, but also an informed dairy and animal scientist. He visited NDRI several times, but his most memorable visit was on February 21, 2012, when he delivered a convocation address to young scientists. He interacted with farmers and intellectuals of the city. He batted for 8 per cent growth in the horticulture and dairy sector, he added.
The recommendation of the National Agriculture Commission 2006, led by Swaminathan, had a great impact on the farmers of the region, who demanded the implementation of the report. Dr Virender Singh Lather, former principal scientist, ICAR-IARI, said the commission had recommended the calculation of MSP on the basis of comprehensive cost, along with 50 per cent profit. The recommendations show his vision for the uplift of the farming community. The recommendations remained a poll issue, but should be implemented as a tribute to him, he added.
Sewa Singh Arya, BKU state president, considered him a well-wisher of farmers. “If all the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission are implemented, it would help in doubling the income of the farmers,” he stated.
Implement recommendations as tribute
The National Agriculture Commission 2006, led by Swaminathan, had recommended the calculation of MSP on the basis of comprehensive cost, along with 50 per cent profit. It shows his vision for the uplift of the farming community. The recommendations should be implemented as a tribute to him. — Dr Virender S Lather, ex-principal scientist, ICAR-IARI
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