Narendra Modi outlines plan for ?second green revolution?

PM pitches for greater use of research under ?Lab-to-Land?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday mooted a more broad-based and inclusive approach for a ?second green revolution? aimed at augmenting grain production in a sustainable manner. Pitching for greater use of research, Modi gave the slogan ?Lab-to-Land?, saying that farmers should be able to enhance production to increase their income and feed the country as well as the world.

?We clearly need a second green revolution that is more broad-based, more inclusive and more sustainable; we need to produce more without depleting our natural resources any further,? Modi said at the 86th foundation day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

On the depletion of ground water in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, Modi said: ?We all look back proudly to our green revolution, which helped us overcome food shortage and banish the specter of starvation, or living from ship to mouth. But, today we find that the regions of the country which witnessed the green revolution are suffering from problems of environmental degradation.?

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He said in many other regions of the country, particularly in eastern India, yields continue to be much lower than what is attainable.

While stressing the need to take technology to agriculture field to boost farm production for meeting the rising demand, Modi said: ?The inclusive strategies of development that we are pursuing should further increase the incomes of the poorer sections of our society. This will further increase demand for not only grain but also fruit, vegetables and animal products.?

The total demand for grain is projected to touch 280 million tonne by 2020-21. During 2013-14, the country produced 264 million tonne of grain.

Modi stressed on use of scientific technology to help raise agricultural production in ?less land, less time?. ?Although grain production has regained the requisite momentum in the last few years and the agriculture sector as a whole is set to grow at 3% per annum during the 11th Plan, we cannot be complacent,? he said.

The PM also called for a ?Blue Revolution? in the fisheries sector on the lines of the Green and White Revolutions. ?The development of the fishery sector is necessary as there is a huge global market for this and has potential to change the life of fishermen,? he said, and called for greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed.

To reduce dependence on import of pulses and cooking oil, Modi said priority should be given to raise productivity.

Rainfed agriculture continues to play a very important role in the economy, contributing about 60% of the cropped area and 45% of the total agricultural produce. Rainfed areas contribute more than 80% of the pulses and oilseeds grown as well as a substantial part of horticulture and animal husbandry produce.

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First published on: 30-07-2014 at 01:41 IST