Former VC roots for self-sufficiency in food for India’s growth

Former VC of UAS, Bengaluru, Dr K Narayana Gowda urged farmers to take up integrated farming

At the rate, at which the rural population, especially the youth is migrating to urban areas, no doubt ensuring food security would be a major challenge that the country would be facing in two decades from now. The 2011 statistics show that 50 percent of the rural population had moved away from rural pockets and have given up agriculture,” said former Vice Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, Dr K Narayana Gowda.

Speaking at the two-day national seminar on ‘Sustainability in Agriculture: Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies Ahead’ organised by the Department of Economics, JSS College of Arts, Commerce and Science in association with ICAR JSS Krishi Vignana Kendra, Suttur, Dr Gowda said that India could withstand any hindrance but food shortage.

“Integrated farming is the way out for sustainable agricultural growth and farmers will always be at profit. Even governments need to encourage integrated farming,” former Vice Chancellor of UAS, Bengaluru, Dr K Narayana Gowda

“If India can be self-sufficient with regard to food, nothing could stop it from becoming one of the richest countries as no amount would be spent on importing the food,” he said.

Dr Gowda further pointed that the agriculture sector was doing well with 264 million tonnes of production as against 50 million tonnes in 1950s.

“Though the production rate has seen five-fold increase, the condition of the farmers has gone from bad to worse. Considerable decline in the profit due to improper harvesting and post harvesting wastage is what is driving farmers away from agriculture,” he said.

He called upon the governments to encourage farmers and educate them on the management perspective and end-to-end farming so as to help them avoid unnecessary loss incurred during the process of harvesting.

“India, with bountiful natural resources, has great potential for agriculture but we have failed miserably to effectively utilise them. Unlike other countries, India has abundant land with rich soil, water resources – 11 percent more than Israel which is the world-leader in agricultural technologies despite the fact that the geography of Israel is not naturally conducive to agriculture and lack of water resources – solar and wind energy. If we can make effective use of the natural resources, the production can increase from 264 million tonnes now to more than 300 million tonnes in no time and the country could easily feed the projected 150 crore population in 2050 ,” Dr Gowda said.

Stressing on the integrated farming system, he called upon farmers to adopt integrated farming to utilise their every inch of land for agriculture.

Former Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Dharwad, Dr M Mahadevappa, Chief Executive, Prof B V Shambashivaiah and Principal Prof M Mahadevappa were present.

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