India will be secure in terms of food by 2050, said Dr S Ayappan, secretary (DARE) and DG Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) New Delhi. He was speaking at a meeting on Saturday of the Alumni Association of University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore (UASB).
In his talk on ‘Food for India-2050’, he said, “We have challenges such as demographic distribution of crops, climate change, decreasing land and water. Our strengths will be our youth, technologies such as genetic modification of crops, phenomics (measuring plant traits that are seen and unseen as they respond to nature and nurture), molecular breeding etc. and partnership with institutions such as DRDO and ISRO as well as a focus on secondary agriculture and livestock.” Ayappan said that the world population will be nine billion in 2050, out of which 1.6 billion will be in India.
He spoke about concrete steps based on which India can address the need for more food as cropping patterns and food consumption patterns show that now people are eating more meat, milk, fish, eggs, poultry, fruits, pulses etc.
Agriculture must become smart, efficient and sustainable, he said. “We must grow crops according to the geographical conditions in the state,” he said. “Farmers must become our partners in the future if food security is to be met. Along with economic security, they need dignity,” he added.