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‘Biomass use to double ryots’ income’

The key to double the income of farmers is the utilisation of biomass, said Padma Vibhushan Dr MS Swaminathan on Monday. The Father of Indian Green Revolution was speaking at the First Foundation for Agrarian Studies (FAS) Annual Public Lecture on “Science and the Future of Agriculture” at St. Joseph’s College. The lecture was organised by the FAS in collaboration with the college’s Department of Economics.

“The important pathway to double the income of farmers is the utilisation of biomass. We have the rice biopark established by the government in Myanmar and we need more biomass utilisation through these parks,” said Swaminathan.

He also spoke about the consequences of climate change and Genetic Garden of Biofortified crops. He discussed the role of Orange Flesh Sweet Potato in fighting child malnutrition and challenges of Biofortification and Zero Hunger challenge.

“Earlier, agriculture was the primary sector in India. Today it’s not. We have given less importance to sustainable development in agriculture. Agriculture is one area in India which does not have an input from science. Applications are there, but a few. That’s the reason behind choosing the topic Science and the Future of Agriculture,” said Clement D’Souza, head of the Department of Economics.

Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Professor at the Economic Analysis Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute, S Ramachandrapillai, vice president of All Indian Kisan Sabha, Aparajita Bakshi, a professor in Public Policy at the National School of India University, and Dr Sandeepan Bakshi, Director at FAS, were the other dignitaries present. The FAS, a charitable trust based in India, aims to facilitate and sponsor multi-disciplinary theoretical and empirical enquiry in the field of agrarian studies in India and elsewhere in less-developed countries.