Former President APJ Abdul Kalam pitches for farmers’ cooperative movements

The second Green Revolution in the country would come about when farmers would not stop at just harvesting their crops but turn them into finished products through a cooperative movement, former President APJ Abdul Kalam said in Vadodara on Tuesday.

"The definition of second Green Revolution is not clear. But according to me, it would come about when soil is tested (to know for what crop it is fit) and farmers don't stop after production (harvesting). They will have to add value to their farm produce and this can be done through farmers' cooperative movement like the milk cooperative movement," Kalam said while addressing agricultural scientists and farmers at a private agri-biotechnology firm in the city.

Kalam, the father of the missile technology of the country, suggested that farmers could think of doing farming on cooperative basis. "We need a complete package. They can do everything by forming cooperatives. There can be milk cooperative, sugar cooperative and cooperatives to run medical colleges and engineering colleges," he said.

He further said farmers would have to set up processing units by forming cooperatives and add value to their products. "Instead of selling wheat or rice, they can process them and make products out of them which would fetch them better price. They can even form cooperatives to market such products," Kalam said.

Kalam, whose father was a farmer said, Varna Vally in Buldhana district of Maharashtra was such a model and it could be replicated elsewhere. He added that none of six lakh farmers in the region were below poverty line.

"The agriculture land is shrinking and due to overuse of chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides, yield levels are stagnant or dropping. But the requirement of food-grain growing. To meet this growing demand, we need a second Green Revolution based on organic products.

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