ICAR Foundation Day Lecture

Agro Bio-diversity Management for Sustainable Food Security
By Prof. M.S. Swaminathan

New Delhi, 16 July 2010

Noted agricultural scientist, policy planner and thinker Prof. M.S. Swaminathan delivered ICAR foundation day lecture here today. Being one of the architects of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Prof. Swaminathan outlined road map for effective management of the agro bio-diversity to maintain sustainable food security for the country. Recalling his earlier days at IARI, New Delhi, Prof. Swaminathan emphasized the important role of technological research in achieving breakthroughs which ultimately result in revolutions.

In his thought provoking lecture, Prof. Swaminathan, Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Chairman, M.S.Swaminathan foundation urged to develop awareness regarding locally available agro bio-diversity among the members of neighborhood community to encourage the in-situ conservation. He reiterated that participation of local community in all conservation efforts is an essential component for success of any effort. Further, a bio-diversity literacy movement may be initiated to educate people regarding the importance of genetic resources in their future. He said that ICAR has the competence and capability to address this issue at national level with emphasis on local participation.  In the current climate change scenario the importance of gene banks is mounting, hence, ICAR may take up creation of gene banks in various agro-climatic zones of the country.

While suggesting action plan, Prof. Swaminathan highlighted the importance of human resources in conservation of agro bio-diversity and urged to enhance the investment on this activity. Agricultural scientists must intensify anticipatory and participatory research to conserve the Indian agricultural heritage.

Earlier, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR welcomed and felicitated Prof. Swaminathan and lauded his central role in growth of the Council.  On behalf of the council, he complimented Dr. Swaminathan on his forthcoming 85th birthday.

Shri  Rajiv Mehrishi, Additional Secretary, DARE and Secretary, ICAR presented vote of thanks.

(Source: NAIP sub-project on Mobilizing Mass Media Support for Sharing Agro-Information,DIPA)