To begin with, how would you explain the basic pattern of Indian seed market – both in terms of production and availability?
First of all, we need to seriously think – do we really need the seeds which we are producing? Indian companies are mainly producing hybrid seeds. It means, if a person harvests a crop from hybrid seeds, it will not generate seeds. A farmer must have to be dependent on the seed company for the next crop in the next season. It is an indigenous technology, which is being used for many years at a big level. 70-85 per cent of seeds sold in the market are hybrid products. Seed producers are besieged with the fear of piracy. They fear that people may start producing seed from their original seeds. Therefore, they produce hybrid seed so that no one can copy it.
Does Indian Government have any policy for hybrid seeds?
The Indian Government itself is encouraging hybrid seeds for the growth of farm produce.
But in your opinion, this is something which country should avoid at all cost. What is the rationale behind this aversion?
In my opinion, no country should encourage hybrid seeds as they adversely affect our genes over a long period. Who will want to be sexually impotent in the future? If we will eat impotent and seedless farm produce, it will affect our genes. This sexual degeneration is called ‘Eugenesis’. It directly affects the human sexuality.
In India, there are hundreds of agricultural universities. But we lag behind countries like Israel which has only one agriculture institute when it comes to making research breakthrough. We do keep on hearing about some good work happening in Indian universities on R & D front but why do we fail to implement them?
I don’t think there is any point in talking about R&D happening in our agricultural universities. Until we do not integrate things with business and trade, nothing would happen. In our country, agricultural research hasn’t reached to a matured level because it is not integrated with business and trade.
What is the current status of utilisation of science and technology in India’s agriculture?
83 crore people are living on just Rs 20 per day. In my opinion, this primarily owes to the failure of utilisation of science and technology in India’s agriculture. The critical factors for this pathetic state are: our leadership and mindset. Leadership and mindset are the big factors and the leadership needs to show the courage.
The UPA Government has taken many important steps like food security and land acquisition. How would it affect India in the future?
The biggest problem is, our brain thinks, hearts shows the courage, but our thinking does not yield return anything unless we execute our thinking.
Do you see any adverse impact of them?
No, I don’t see any adverse impact of them on the ground. But I would like to say that we need to focus on modern ways of development. Barely speaking from the top will not help. We need to concentrate on 83 crore people living in the villages. How do you see the overall performance of the UPA Government?
When the prime minister of the country is facing serious allegations of scam of Rs 150,000 crore while he was looking after coal ministry as additional charge, how can you rate the government spearheaded by him? A scam of that kind happens under your nose and you do not know anything. What were you doing as the head of the ministry? Why don’t you leave your office as Prime Minister?
There is a strong feeling within a certain section that leading corporate houses in the country have contributed significantly to India’s economy- in a social sense too. Do you also subscribe to this theory?
The top corporate activities of India are banking, oil and steel. However, 80 crore people living in rural areas do not have anything to do with these activities. They do not have access to these services. The sectors, which are getting biggest development in the country, they do not have anything to do with 65 per cent of population. Then, how do you see the development. Our development remains isolated from the larger mass.
How do you evaluate the rural development of China?
While I was visiting Beijing, everything was taking place in Chinese language. They use their local language in all communication whereas we have given up our indigenous regional language and have adopted English. This is the reason of their development and our backwardness. Language is the carrier of economy connecting the best brains to the people living at the bottom of the pyramid. Till the time our brain will be confined only to the upper echelon, development will not take place at the grass root level.