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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 07.08.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee attended the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation today (August 7, 2013) at Chennai.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said the year 2013 marks a significant milestone in Indian agricultural and social history. The National Food Security Ordinance was promulgated and the Bill in this regard has been introduced in the Lok Sabha today. He is confident the Parliament would approve this measure. This initiative is believed to be the world’s largest social protection measure against hunger. Henceforth, availability of food at an affordable cost would be a legal right to over two third’s of our population.

The President said this Rights based approach to Food can be sustained only if India pays greater attention to farmers and farming. The National Commission on Farmers, chaired by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan has given valuable recommendations for converting the Green revolution into an Ever-Green revolution, resulting in higher productivity in perpetuity without associated ecological harm. Land is a shrinking resource for agriculture. There is hence no option except to produce more from less land as well as less irrigation water. This is where the farmer participatory research programme as well as the farmer to farmer learning institutions like Farm Schools promoted by M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation are extremely valuable.

The President described the contributions of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan to India's Green Revolution and food self sufficiency as outstanding. He said the nation will always remember Prof. Swaminathan for his Pioneering work.

On the occasion, the President presented a plaque in recognition of the Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System by FAO as a Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System to Shri Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala.

This release issued at 1725 hrs