Urgent investment must to ensure food security: Dr PV Vara Prasad

PATNA: Climate change and food security expert Professor Dr PV Vara Prasad has stressed on the need for urgent investment in the agriculture sector to ensure food security.

Speaking at the 5 th Bihar Times Conclave, held in Patna from Dec.1-3, the former President of the Crop Science Society of America stressed on the need to accept the reality of climate change which will have a negative impact on productivity.

“We must think about understanding the causes of climate change and how one can contribute to minimise its impact. Number one cause is land use. One must learn about selecting proper land for crop productions. One should not select an area for crop while it should be used for forests and forage. Greenhouse gas emission and deforestation are the other two challenges,” he added.

Speaking about the individual contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emission, Dr PV Vara Prasad said that the solution lies in three factors – adaptation, mitigation and resilience. He said that cultivation of paddy and livestock are the major contributors to greenhouse gas emission. Farmers can reduce it by adopting farm practices such as reducing tillage, returning biomass residue of crop to soil, increasing the use of cover crops, and by using urea efficiently by putting it into the soil. High quality forage for livestock can also play a significant role in minimising Greenhouse gas emission.

Dr Prasad said that investing about $15 billion in innovation every year will bring a number of critical goals into reach and have life-changing benefits.

He said that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set in 2015 and the target was set to achieve food security and poverty reduction by 2030.

“We are half-way through, but less than 20 per cent of the targets have been met so far. We don’t have enough time. If we invest about $15 billion in innovation every year, it can significantly reduce poverty and hunger. We can also minimise Greenhouse gas emission and deforestation.”

" It is not difficult to raise that much amount because just two cold drink companies spend about $7 billion to $9billion per year on advertisement. Unfortunately, there is a lack of interest,” he lamented.


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