Noted horticulturist Brahma Singh emphasised the need to formulate policies keeping in the mind the conditions of the farming community.
In Karnal for the 12th Agricultural Science Congress, Singh told HT on Wednesday that sustainable livelihood security for farmers with small holdings was an issue which could not be solved by mere slogans or vague ideations.
"It has become a fashion to suggest in the public domain that farmers should break away from the wheat-paddy cycle and switch over to crop diversification. Such things do not carry any meaning to farmers with small holdings and meagre resources," said Singh, who was recently conferred Padam Shri for his contribution in the field of science and engineering.
Former technical director of life science at Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Singh is credited for introducing farming of leafy vegetables in Leh and Nubra valley.
Singh said that owning to sub-zero temperatures in the Laddakh region, vegetables sowing was near to impossible.
"But adopting simple technology of protected farming by covering fields with plastic sheets, the Laddakhi farmers are sowing coriander, cabbage, gourds and melons round the year. The project was mainly aimed at providing fresh vegetables to the armed forces posted along the international borders but the initiative has changed the economy of local farmers," he said.
Brahma believes that besides the basic knowhow of innovative farming the farmers should be connected directly with the market with an assured remuneration.
"Marginal farmer needs financial security for his meager landholding and a planned horticulture programme could improve the Indian farming situation. Israeli horticulture technologies can be customised by keeping in mind Indian circumstances," he said.