Farmers’ body seeks clarification on Prince Charles’ comments


New Delhi : A leading Indian farmers’ body has sought clarification from the British High Commission here on Prince Charles’ reported criticism of India’s agricultural development.

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Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) secretary general P. Chengal Reddy has written to British High Commissioner in India Richard Stagg, calling Charles’ comments “unfortunate”.

“It is unfortunate that the prince who spent only two days in Punjab, India, visiting farmers, has criticised Indian agriculture development,” Reddy has stated in the letter dated Aug 22, which was mailed to IANS Saturday.

“As a developing nation with huge population, illiteracy, small farmers and limited resources, we are making a determined effort to overcome our food problems and confront global challenges,” Reddy said.

“At this juncture, unwarranted advice by Prince Charles is unfortunate. The complexities of agriculture in developing nations as well as poor nations are many,” he added.

Charles in an interview published Aug 13 in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said: “Look at India’s green revolution. It worked for a short time but now the price is being paid.”

“I have been to Punjab where you have seen the disasters that have taken place as a result of the over demand on irrigation because of the hybrid seeds and grains that have been produced which demand huge amounts of water. (The) water table has disappeared. They have huge problems with water level, with pesticide problems, and complications which are now coming home to roost.”

Reddy has urged Prince Charles to “restrain from passing adverse remarks against Indian farmers”.