Published On : Tue, Jun 7th, 2016

Harvesting of newer, alternate crops will prove a boon for farmers: Dr Mayee

Mayee(1)Nagpur: Internationally renowned agriculture scientist, former Chairman of Agriculture Scientists Recruitment Board of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and former co-chairman of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) Dr C D Mayee talked to Nagpur Today and threw light on various aspects including Genetically Modified (GM) technology, today’s agriculture scenario, drought scourge, problems of farmers with focus on Vidarbha lot.

When questioned on the feasibility of GM technology vis-à-vis its success in Indian conditions, Dr Mayee said, “An unnecessary negative hype and controversy is being generated about the introduction of technology and genetically modified products. The opponents of the GM technology are harping on one point only and terming the technology as foreign one and therefore not suitable for Indian farmers. But it is not true.”

Dr Mayee further said, “We have our own scientists and our own technologies called “Swadeshi Genetically Modified Technology which if employed will definitely yield better products. He went on to claim that use of these technologies will not only enhance the yield but it will also ensure that the crop is drought tolerant and can subsist even in harshest of situations, like the one we are facing these days. Farmers have to be adoptive to newer and newer technologies in changing situations,” Dr Mayee stressed.

Stressing the need for younger and educated people to enter the agriculture sector, the agriculture scientist said that at the moment, agriculture is not an attractive proposition. This is because agriculture is not a profitable venture for them. Today’s younger generations see no attraction the worth so as to prod them into the field, Dr Mayee claimed and added agriculture will become more attractive to the youngsters only when they reap profits of their expectations.

Dr Mayee quoted the examples of some youngsters in Karnataka and Western Maharashtra where the they started diversification including Goat Farming, Dairy, harvesting different fruit crops that made them prosperous. He went on to say he appreciates the Government’s scheme on crop insurance against natural calamities. This scheme ensures compensation for crops that are damaged in natural calamities.

Talking on use of newer and newer technologies in farming sector, Dr Mayee advocated the use of latest inventions of technologies (indigenous technologies) in farming that have proved extremely beneficial and achieved its desired results in other countries.

Dr Mayee also spoke on the Market Price and the Linkage. He said that the government’s initiative to ensure an absorbing mechanism is good for the farmers. “Today, the need is to have cold-storages near farm lands which will help in maintaining the fluctuating demand and supply of certain vegetables and crops like the one that we see nowadays of onion prices falling down and the prices of tomatoes going up.

“Many of the new technologies are being used in other states including Gujarat and also by farmers of Western Maharashtra. Profitability is very much feasible. Only thing required is hard work and optimum use of available resources. Farmers in Vidarbha should try alternate mechanisms for preventing losses. Point is after hail-storms, orange peels get marks. These fruits do not get sold. The alternative mechanism would be take out the juice, process the peels, make pulps etc and preserve it or sell it in different forms. It is a profitable proposition. Farmers in Vidarbha must understand this.”