I am grateful to the people of Bamnauli for their warm welcome and their hospitality, and to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute who helped to arrange my visit.
I have been most interested in what you have shown me, and particularly in the great strides you have made in food production. When I was last in India I was impressed by the revolutionary possibilities which the new varieties of grain and the new cultivation techniques offered for increased cereal production. Your village is a striking example of what can be achieved.
India has been transformed from a country where every monsoon failure brought the spectre of widespread famine, to one which is self-sufficient in cereals. Many experts consider that this represents as great an agricultural advance as any made since men first began to farm the land. You have played a part in that historic achievement and it is something of which you can be justly proud. I am particularly pleased that scientists from my own country will be able to help in this task by working with their counterparts at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to find ways in which costly fertilisers can be more effectively utilised and to develop even better varieties of wheat.
I have greatly enjoyed meeting some of the people of Bamnauli, albeit very briefly, and in particular seeing some of your children. It is the children who carry our hopes for the future. [end p1] As a former Minister of Education myself, I am well aware how vital education is. I am glad to see the dedication with which both pupils and teachers are applying themselves to the task. I am particularly pleased to say that, on behalf of the Government and people of Britain, I am making a gift to the school which will enable … . end of text