IPI (Institute of Plant Industry) Indore should be revived

In his Presidential Address to the Indian Science Congress in 1926 at Bombay (Now Mumbai) he starts with reminding his scientific audience that in the past, farmers have sometimes done very well without the scientists.

"The great benefits that have flowed from the application of science to practice are not always on the side of agriculture. Scientific method itself has sometimes profited from the association. Further, the man of science has had to realize that progress is possible without the aid of science, and that some of the greatest developments in agriculture, even at the present day, have been brought about by empirical means. Examples of notable advances in agriculture which have taken place without the aid of science are to be found all over the world."

Even when the scientist and the farmer did conjoin their efforts it was not always the scientist who led in the choice of problem. As long ago as 1908 Sir Albert Howard had pointed out that the amount of attention being bestowed on cotton investigation was due to the fact that cotton was being increasingly grown within the Empire; the choice of investigation being thus settled by the growers, not by the scientists (Report of the Board of Scientific Advice for India, for 1907-08; Economic Botany.....). This was the legacy with which Sir Albert Howard began his voyage to the eternal secrets of sustainable farming through the organic way, first by founding IPI, the Institute of Plant Industry, here at Indore, followed by UK. Based Soil Association and the Rodale Institute in the U.S. These institutes, but one the I.P.I., have not only grown in stature but also doing yeoman service in promoting organic farming. These institutions are managed and run by farming community and no scientist worth naming are involved. Closure of I.P.I. On the other hand, has left a big void in India\'s organic farming movement. There is no agency in India to address Organic Farmer`s problems and give timely guidance.

Let there be a beginning in India, here in Indore. To fill this void, let`s start with reopening of I.P.I. Let us begin from where Sir Albert left in 1931. Let I.P.I. reborn and flourish, flourish with the participation and for the benefit of farmers. Farmer- Scientists like Shri Bhaskar Save, Dipak Suchde, Raju Titus, Debal Deb, Claude Alvaris, Smt. Vandana Shiva and others could conjoin with farmers to open the chapter again. It was in 1924 that H.H. Maharaja Tukoji Rao Holkar III patronized the I.P.I. at Indore; let the new chapter bloom under the patronage of Prince Richard Holkar, to rewrite the history.

Old students Association of RAK Agriculture College Sehore have collected a corpus of Rs. 2 lac, let this be the seed money to revitalize I.P.L. and move further.