‘Science should make lives egalitarian, sustainable’

Chancellor of Central Agricultural University S Ayyappan inaugurates the 6th Asia Pacific Congress of Sericulture and Insect Biotechnology, organised by International Sericultural Commission in Mysuru on Saturday. Shimada Toru and Kazuei Nita from Tokyo U

Chief Executive Officer of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Ashok Dalwai said that science and technology should be applied to make lives egalitarian and sustainable. He also batted for genetic modification (GM) technology to achieve this.

During the inaugural function of the 6th Asia Pacific Congress of Sericulture and Insect Biotechnology, attended by delegates from eight nations in the city on Saturday, he said,“Besides reducing the cost of production, scientists should focus on conserving ecology. The cost to ecology can be contained with minimal use of resources. Such advancement is possible through GM technology.”

Dalwai commented on the need to share knowledge. “We should forget artificial barriers like nation and region
and share our knowledge, instead of keeping it a secret. Patented technology should be available to everyone, after a designated period, for the benefit of the whole planet,” he said.

“Income of farmers has become a matter of concern across the world. Even in the USA, despite its vastness of agriculture, farmers are suffering. Science and technology should focus on reducing the costs on production, while maintaining high yields, to increase the net income of farmers,” said Dalwai.

“Advancement in science and technology should equip the farmers to get maximum yields by using minimal resources like water, soil, fertilisers and pesticides. In a country like India, advancement in agriculture is very important as over 48% of the population still depends on farming. Changes and transformation in farming can lead to increased incomes and change in lifestyle of the people,” he said.

S Ayyappan, Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal, also said that the scientific community should work towards increasing farmers’ income.

He sought the expertise from other countries in tackling the issues faced by sericulture farmers — like climate change and rising input
costs.

“We need climate resilient sericulture techniques and novel irrigation practices as well as techniques to use the byproducts. The use of artificial intelligence, blockchain and internet of things (IoT) in sericulture should be studied,” said Ayyappan.

K M Hanumantharayappa, Chairman of the Central Silk Board, claimed that silk still has undisputed demand, despite the entry of several other fabrics.

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‘Science should make lives egalitarian, sustainable’

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