Lack of Love for Agriculture Would Push Kerala to the Black Ages: Agriculture Minister
Stressing on the need to create awareness on agriculture and its benefits among the younger generation, V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, today reiterated that cultivating a passion for agriculture should be seen as a must in the Kerala scenario.
Speaking after inaugurating the Seventh Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress at the Jawahar Bala Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, Sunil Kumar pointed out that if love for agriculture isn’t brought into the minds of the young minds, it would only lead the state to the black ages. If learning about agriculture is not undertaken in a serious manner, acquisition of any knowledge would prove futile, he said. No one becomes a human being without acquiring knowledge on soil and water. With all these in mind, the Kerala government has decided to make agriculture a part of the curriculum, the Minister added.
Organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), in association with the
Agri Friends, the seventh edition of the Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress has as its focal theme “Organic Kerala, Healthy Kerala”.
V S Sunil Kumar also said that the Kerala government has decided to take over the conduct of the Bala Krishi Sastra Congress, which has entered into the seventh year, from the next edition onwards. He promised the audience that the next edition of the Bala Krishi Congress will be organised in a grand manner and will assume the proportions of an Agriculture Festival. Stressing on the significance of food security to the students who had assembled, Sunil Kumar said land under cultivation needs to be seen as the real temple. Agriculture assumes significance in the fact that it has an added importance, owing to the fact that food security is the most needed aspect and basic need a state or country looks forward to. Lack of food security could be dangerous.
Dwelling upon the fact shocking that Kerala’s consumption of medicines has grown ten-fold medicines compared with that among the people of other states, the Minister attributed this phenomenon to the impact of many unwanted interventions in the agriculture scene of the state. Such unwelcome interventions are to be pushed back, he said.
K Muraleedharan MLA, who presided over the inaugural function, pointed out that the most urgent need in Kerala is ensuring a healthy generation. The only way to shape a healthy generation is by deciding to cultivate our own food, he exhorted the students. Lamenting the fact that the people around us consider agriculture as a lowly job, he said the younger generation needs to set out on the quest towards unearthing the immense potential that agriculture holds within itself. He expressed happiness over the fact that the children of the younger generation have been showing added interest in agriculture. This is extremely praise-worthy, he added.
K Shailaja Teacher, who inaugurated the Agri-Fest at the event, said that the people of Kerala, who half a century ago had fought for ownership of cultivable land, are now treating agriculture with contempt. Adding that the state government has directed the Local Self Government department to ensure that all corporations, municipalities and panchayats promote organic farming, she said the move is aimed at rescuing the people who are falling prey to lifestyle diseases on a daily basis.
Kerala Bala Krishi Congress Chairman Dr. C K Peethambaran delivered the welcome address. Principal Secretary and Agri Products Commissioner Dr Raju Narayana Swamy who inaugurated the agri-products and initiatives expo at the event said, by participating in agriculture, one becomes part of the nation-building exercise. The efforts initiated by the Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress to impart the importance of agriculture
among students is laudable, he added.
Kerala Bala Krishi Congress First Leader and student of Holy Angels School Mariam Benny, IT@School Executive Director Anvar Sadat, Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat President V K Madhu, CISSA General Secretary Dr C Suresh Kumar, Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress Vice Chairman M P Lokanath, were among those present. Agri Friends President D R Jose proposed the Vote of Thanks.
The inaugural day saw paper presentations and performances by the student participants. The two -day Seventh Kerala Bala Krishi Sastra Congress, which has the participation of more than 400 students from across Kerala, will continue on Wednesday.