(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
Agricultural Research in India seems to have become totally incompatible to the needs of our agro-system or perhaps it has lost its goal and gone out of track. We can compare it with some sort of vanity fair-shining, bright, cosmetic but without radiance and conspicuously lacking in work culture, objectivity and perception that could have effectively put our country on the high pedestal of agricultural development.
But despite best of resources including skilled manpower and technocrats, progress made so far post WTO is far from satisfactory. Predominantly an agricultural country no doubt but still not an effective and major player in international trade in agriculture. The fault does not solely rests with the pervasive policies and priorities laid down by the Govt. but also with bureaucratic hypocrisy and lack of professional honesty and ethics on the part of our agro-scientists. They are equally to blame for the grimy state of agriculture as it obtains today.
Nevertheless, it fills one with ecstasy and pride that we have a century old and one of the world’s most sophisticated agricultural research institute, equipped laboratories, so many Agricultural Universities, high profile faculties and scholars. So shokingly ludicurous that having so much to showcase that India is a forward looking techno-scientific nation, agriculture as the major livelihood resource of our people and the mainstay of our economy has become an unrewarding and unremunerative proposition, both at the domestic and global level.
An in depth surveillance of the history of agricultural research, in India is quite revealing. The decline emanates from major policy shift in agricultural research, putting greater emphasis on Bio-technology and Nanotechnology, which are quite alien to our agro-ecological system. Added to the woe of the farmers is the ever widening gulf between research findings and the glaring failure to monitor them to farmers and the tillers. Major part of the fund earmarked for agricultural research is spent on establishment and very little on actual research.
It is not wholly logical to describe inconsequential the intervening period of one hundred years of the existence of I.A.R.I. And what an irony that the premier agricultural research institute of the country founded in the year 1905, the pattern of research in recent years, have shown scant regard for the conditionality of Indian Agriculture, and the needs of the small and marginal farmers constituting the bulk of country’s peasantry. Well laid infrastructure, countrywide network of research centres and the enormous fund spent over agricultural research failed to achieve the desired goal.
The prevailing situation is an stern reminder to the era of Uruguay round negotiations prior to the formation of WTO that deceitfully assured of a very bright prospect for Indian agriculture. But nothing like that ever happened and the decline and decay arising out of unequal globalisation are visible all around. Now, in the name of agricultural research the Govt. is bent upon superimposing Bio-technology and Nano-technology that have no relevance to the ground reality of Indian. agriculture.
Beaureaucrats and agro-scientist have grouped up once again to misguide the Govt. on so called the advantages and the hazardous impact of the applicability of these technologies. Destroying our agro-system and the livelihood resources of the people is just sinister.
(Editorial : Farmers' Forum Magazine)