Invited to speak at the inauguration of India Cares forum, created by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Leadership and Development, in Coimbatore yesterday, the father of Green Revolution, M.S. Swaminathan, said that to eliminate hunger, more women farmers should be introduced on boards and more cooperative societies should be created.


Times of India reported him saying, “We have to increase our food production and ensure that it gives us all the nutrients we need. One important way to do that is by bringing women in farm areas on board because they are great biodiversity conservers.”


He added that women intellectually contribute to farming by eliminating risks and creating variety, and advocated the importance of creating co-operatives in a country like India where small pieces of farmland are usually worked on.


[Picture Courtesy: Future Food 2050]

He said, “The many milk co-operatives like Aavin and Amul are the reason the milk production in the country rose from 20 million tonne in the 60s to 140 million tonnes now.” Talking about wasting of food, he said, “The rich waste so much food because we don’t know good management…  In fact, the poorer a family, the more they spend on food. It is almost as high as 70% to 75% of their income.”


Malnutrition, which is also a great concern in a country like India, was also discussed. Swaminathan also stated: “Hidden hunger is one variant of hunger which arises from lack of micronutrients. So there should be more awareness on vegetables like sweet potato and drumsticks which are rich in nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin A and other nutrients due to years of genetic modification and can easily be cultivated.”