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Get anticipatory research on the agenda – M.S. Swaminathan
"In order to handle the adverse situations due to the effects of climatic change on the food security, it is very essential to have an anticipatory research on the agenda" said Prof. M.S. Swaminathan during CSIR Foundation Day lecture at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). Prof Swaminathan was sharing his thoughts on "Safeguarding National Food Security in an Era of Climate Change" from the floor of NIO to a large gathering of scientists, students, farmers and many others who attended the Foundation Day lecture on 26 September 2010.
He said the Government is trying to bring in legislation in the form of Food Security Act but to fulfill the needs of the people, enough food availability is essential. Whereas just by 1 or 2 degrees C rise in temperature, wheat production would reduce to a large extent. It is therefore essential to develop different varieties of seeds that can handle the situations of such fluctuating climate.
"We must move from 'green revolution' to 'ever-green revolution' by increasing productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm", he emphasized. While organic farming/agriculture is one direction in this effort for grain production, the fish production can also be enhanced by low external input sustainable aquaculture methods wherein the herbivore based feeds are used, indigenous species are considered and water quality and health of the fish is maintained.
He also addressed the issues of meeting the challenge of sea level rise by suggesting the strategy that includes development of mangrove and non-mangrove bio-shields to minimize the impact of coastal storms and sea water inundation, promoting sea water farming through agri-aqua farms, promoting below sea level farming as already being practiced by farmers in the Kuttanad area of Kerala, breeding salinity tolerant crop varieties for cultivation in coastal areas based on genetic engineering techniques besides preparing contingency plans for the resettlement of climate refugees.
Food availability, home grown food security and nutrition security by way of use of other farm products was his mantra for food security and fight for hunger. Prof. Swaminathan appealed the research laboratories to bring their research results at twice the speed to stay where we are.
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