Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday stressed on the need to extend the ‘success in agriculture’ to eastern parts of India, including West Bengal by encouraging farmers to make combined use of ‘modern scientific methods’ and their ‘traditional agricultural knowledge’.

Modi’s observation came after he released a two-part book series here on renowned agricultural scientist Dr M S Swaminathan titled ‘M.S. Swaminathan: The Quest for a world without hunger’.

“The success in agriculture needs to be extended to eastern India; and scientific and technological interventions are required to make this a reality…a combination of modern scientific methods and traditional agricultural knowledge would bring about the best possible results.

“Each district in India should have its own “Agri-Identity.” This can boost the marketing process, and help develop agri-clusters, on the lines of industrial clusters,” the Prime Minister said.

Terming M S Swaminathan a “Kisan Vaigyanik” or farmers’ scientist rather than a “Krishi Vaigyanik” or agricultural scientist, Modi recalled his contribution towards the government’s flagship ‘Soil Health Card’ initiative. He said the programme was launched after holding ‘consultations’ with the agricultural scientist.

“Swaminathan’s speciality is that his work has been grounded in practical reality,” Modi said, appreciating his ‘simplicity.

“Dr M S Swaminathan thanked the Prime Minister for his words, and appreciated his vision. He emphasiaed the importance of synergy between technology and public policy,” a PMO press note quoting the well known agricultural scientist later said.