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MS Swaminathan: Agriculture Maharishi who led India from starvation to hunger liberation

By Vikas Parasram Meshram 
The announcement of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, is significant to MS Swaminathan, who was the father of the agricultural revolution. He radically changed the traditional thinking in his field of agriculture. Not only did he change the scope, but he gave a modern vision to enrich the thinking related to agriculture by providing improved seeds and agricultural implements. It was Swaminathan who initiated efforts for high productivity in his country. At a time when the country was facing drought, Swaminathan focused on research into improved varieties of rice and wheat. 
He took the initiative to double the country's wheat production by combining high yielding wheat varieties, proper use of fertilizers and more effective agricultural techniques keeping in view the fertility of the land under cultivation. Such experiments were conducted not only on wheat but also on rice to increase production. He developed hybrid varieties by mixing Mexican seeds of wheat with indigenous varieties of Punjab. It was through this initiative taken by him that the food grain shortage in the country was eliminated. So India became self-sufficient in food production. Bharat Ratna award is a tribute to him because he worked for hunger relief throughout his life.
India is tasked with enriching India with its unique talent along with its new vision, thinking in the field of agriculture. Seen from this perspective, Swaminathan's contribution to the country is extraordinary. He gave the country an in-depth study of the intricacies of Indian agriculture. Lack of irrigation facilities, variations in soil fertility, declining yields despite the use of organic fertilizers and monotonous rates of crop production made farming difficult.
By understanding the declining trend in production, such research work was carried out which would lead to a steady increase in the agricultural production of the country. By studying the production of rice and the actual conditions of its production, he established the crops, diversifying the cropping system is necessary. For that, he collected the data of the areas where paddy is grown abundantly. He studied them and cultivated them globally. In order to make farming profitable in a geographically heterogeneous country like India, such seeds, fertilizers and agricultural implements are being coordinated and experimented with.
Thus the Green Revolution started in the country. But it was not easy, he inspired people across the country to work on such a model of agricultural thinking and brought forward young agricultural researchers. MS Swaminathan was not only an agricultural scientist but also a rare personality who stood firm in his views. Because of the excess production, the farmers should not have to sell their agricultural produce at bargain prices, but they were trying. He emphasized on making agriculture profitable through modern technology of marketing along with agricultural storage. So, through the participation of big entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, they also played an important role in bringing Indian agriculture to the global market. 
While the Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, he established the National Bureau of Plant, Animal and Fish Genetics in the country. It encouraged farmers to grow high-yielding crops of cereals, campaigned to maintain soil fertility through proper use of fertilizers and pesticides, and played a vital role in maintaining ecological balance through biodiversity management. In the nineties, he did his MS in Agriculture and Rural Development in Chennai. Established Swaminathan Research Foundation. Under this he did important work in empowering the rural economy by promoting women centric economic activities in rural areas. I had the opportunity to work with Rishi Tulya Maharshi for four years.
Swaminathan's greatest contribution to Indian agriculture is that he changed the direction of thinking in agriculture. Gifted the country with the Green Revolution and revived the agrarian culture and set Indian agriculture on the path of prosperity.

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