For better yield, farmers seek latest technologies

They demand good quality varities of crops, pro-agriculture policies

Farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have been meeting several parliamentarians in Delhi since last few days demanding better varieties of crops like rice, maize, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables for good harvest.

On Friday, they had a meeting where they decided to demand an introduction of new technologies in the agriculture sector.

“We have been all over Delhi meeting various MPs and ministers and asking them to understand our concerns and anxiety,” said Jaipal Reddy, president, Pratap Rudra Farmers Federation Warangla in Andhra Pradesh.

Farmers have submitted petitions to government officials requesting them to initiate and implement “pro-farmer and pro-technology” policies like deployment of biotechnology products in agriculture.

They have stressed that genetically modified (GM) crops will lead to “rural prosperity” as less people will migrate to cities for work.

“Even city dwellers will benefit as food will be produced with minimal use of pesticides,” said a farmer.

Where most of agriculturists are protesting against BT Cotton, some believe this is the way forward.

D Valter, president of the Progressive Pro-technology Farmers Federation said, “Uncertainty over the availability of river water for irrigation casts a perpetual shadow on fate of our crops. Introduction of GM rice, a crop that  maximises yield per unit water supply, will ensure greater profitability.”

Trilokchand Saini from Kisan Club, Fatehabad said, “Amid fears of crop failure due to changes in weather patterns, GM crops will be a huge relief to farmers of Haryana who have otherwise been bestowed with very fertile land.”

Some farmers who have experimented with GM crops said evidences suggest that these crops cause no harm to human or animal health. Narendra Singh of Naujawa said they are waiting for genetically modified maize which they hope will help improve the dismal agricultural scenario.

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