Inadequate storage of food grains is a threat to food security – Dr Swaminathan

Ludhiana, 25th April 2011

Dr M.S. Swaminathan, Father of Green Revolution in India –cum- Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) today warned that if adequate steps are not taken immediately to store food grains, the country would face the threat of food security.

Speaking at the press conference at Mohali camp office of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), he emphasized that while making maximum production of food grains, there was a strong need for its proper storage capacity. In order to feed 120 crore people with nutritious grains, the formulation of the food storage policy is the emergent need of the hour to avoid wastage of food grains.

Dr Swaminathan disclosed that in a meeting held with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Chandigarh, he stressed on the need of having a food grain storage institute and added that PAU was the best institute for this purpose. He told that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was very keen in having such a institute. Calling Punjab as the ‘Food Bowl of India,’ he said that the state needed Rs 6000 crore to have adequate storage facility and called upon the Central Government to help the State Government in this venture as Punjab farmer was producing for the nation.

Dr Swaminathan who had a tour of Punjab mandis of Moga, Khanna, Khamano and other areas, was sorry to find good quality grain rotting along the roadsides. Punjab was producing the best quality of wheat, said he, adding that in order to save water, farmers should switch over to maize and pulses instead of paddy. Lauding the efforts of PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Dr Swaminathan that PAU has developed many water saving crop varieties under his (Dr Kang) stewardship. The Punjab farmers will have to mechanize the harvesting operations in view of the farm labour shortage. He presented his book ‘Green Revolution to Evergreen Revolution’ to Dr Kang.

Dr Kang thanking Dr Swaminathan said that PAU will translate this book in Punjabi for the benefit of farming community. He revealed that 15 to 20% food grains go waste every year and are not fit for human consumption. Dr Swaminathan’s visit to Punjab is always a source of inspiration for the farmers, added he.

(Source: Punjab Agricultural University , Ludhiana, Email: pau [dot] commatgmail [dot] com)