Friday, 23 January 2015

‘Food policy should help poor’

The Union Government while designing the food production policy should keep in mind the weakest person in society, said T. Ramasami, former Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, at the inauguration of a seminar on ‘Doubling food production in 10 years,’ held here at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University on Friday.
The government must adopt a cautious approach as going in for revolutionary approach would involve intensive use of energy and material and this would be against the nature’s evolutionary model of development. This in short would lead to the country following the Western model of development. But the country should learn from the mistakes the West made.
Being a labour-intensive occupation, the government must not push too much mechanisation as it would lead to unemployment and no other section had the potential to absorb the labourers sent out.
Resources
Mr. Ramasami said that the country, however, had the technology and resources required to double food production.
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K. Ramasamy said that though there was enough talent and technology available, most of it was isolated, without network. The task, therefore, was to encourage institutions and individuals to network better.
He also spoke on increasing the financial allocation for agriculture research.
Palani G. Periasamy, president, South India Sugar Mills Association, said that appropriate policy measures were needed to bring about an increase in production. He called for increased interaction between industry and academia.
S. Viswanathan, trustee, Agriculture Consultancy Management Foundation, said that land available for cultivation was on the decrease while the demand for production was on the increase.
India, however, had an advantage vis-à-vis a few other countries in that cultivation could be taken up throughout the year, at least in majority of the areas. Using simple techniques and small interventions, the production could be doubled and the government must strive for the same.
He suggested agglomeration of land to bring about mechanization.

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