7 August 2015

Cambridge University Press unveils Prof. M. S. Swaminathan’s book

Cambridge University Press today unveiled a book by the Noted Geneticist, Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, described by the United Nations Environment Programme as "the Father of Economic Ecology" because of his leadership in the Green Revolution movement in agriculture. The book, titled as Combating Hunger and Achieving Food Security has been published by the Press and highlights the issues that need to be addressed in combating hunger and achieving food security.

The book launch was a part of a 3 day long ‘International Conference on Science, Technology and Public Policy for Achieving the Zero Hunger Challenge' at the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai. The inauguration was addressed by His Excellency Dr. K. Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu who also unveiled the book. Other dignitaries present at the event were Mr Ratnesh Kumar Jha, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press, South Asia, Dr. Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson, MSSRF, Dr. Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE & Trustee, MSSRF, Dr. Bruce Alberts, University of Califormia, USA and Dr. Howarth Bouis, Director HarvestPlus, IFPRI and many more.

Prof M. S. Swaminathan’s book discusses major causes of chronic, hidden hunger and emphasizes on the need to redesign the farming system to increase food production. The book analyses the importance of biodiversity conservation and enhancing farmer skill development. Important issues to increase agricultural production including investment by financial institutions in agriculture and rural development, women’s role in agriculture and youth employment in rural livelihoods are discussed in greater detail. The book concludes that there must be synergy amongst the scientific knowledge, political will and farmers' active participation to achieve the goal of overcoming chronic and hidden hunger in the population of developing countries.

Speaking at the event, Ratnesh Kumar Jha, Managing Director, Cambridge University Press, South Asia, said “The timing of this book’s release is beyond dispute. The National Food Security Act is of paramount importance, researches, as recent as last month (July 2015) have shown that only seven states have implemented its core provisions fully. At Cambridge University Press, we strive to publish books focussing on cutting edge research and superior quality content, written by premier scientists, experts and academicians. Prof. M. S. Swaminathan’s book embodies these ideologies and the topic is of utmost relevance. Prof Swaminathan's book will offer readers, particularly the younger generation, an understanding of the efforts that ushered in the Green Revolution of the 1960s, the genesis and growth of the yield revolution is traced at the beginning.”

The author, Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Founder & Chairman of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation said, "The future of food security is a combination of the ecological prudence of the past and the technological advances of today and tomorrow. Redesigning the farming system, monsoon management and increasing investments by financial institutions in agriculture and rural development – for youth and women is the need of the hour. I would like to thank Cambridge University Press for supporting and entitling books like these which are based on grave socio-economic issues backed by dependable, valid research”.