“If India’s agricultural sector has to flourish, a land-to-land transition, where farmers spread knowledge about healthy cultivation practices, has to come up in lieu of the current lab-to-land knowledge transfer,” said noted scientist and researcher M S Swaminathan. He was speaking at the inauguration of an international consultation on molecular genetics at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation here on Monday.
The consultation, a three-day event, was organised to coincide with the 60th year of publication of the double-helical structure of the DNA as propounded by Watson and Crick. The consultation aims to review and look ahead with the notion that advanced molecular genetics could contribute significantly to the areas of food, agriculture and health security. As many as 56 Indian and foreign scientists participated in the event.
Known as the 'Father of the Indian Green Revolution', Swaminathan, during the course of his address, stressed on the concept of food security and how native foodgrains such as millets needed to be popularised among the younger generation if they were to be consumed by them. “Nutrition needs to be married with agriculture if we are to make significant progress in food security,” he said. The scientist also outlined some of the Public Distribution Systems (PDS) in place in various States that seek to quell poverty and deaths due to hunger. Speakers on the occasion underlined how the perceived lack of a regulatory system is resulting in people being unable to derive full benefit from advances in molecular genetics. Secretary to department of Biotechnology of Government of India Dr K Vijay Raghavan was among those present on the occasion.