MSSRF organised a photo exhibition and panel discussion to remember Dr Norman E Borlaug on his 105th birthday

Chennai, March 25, 2019: MSSRF celebrated the 105th birth anniversary of Dr Norman E Borlaug, the father of green revolution today. A photo exhibition and a panel discussion was organised on the topic #RememberingBorlaug at MSSRF, Chennai.

Dr N Anil Kumar, the Executive Director of MSSRF delivered the introductory remarks during the panel discussion and said that Dr Norman Borlaug’s work saved millions of people from hunger and poverty. On remembering Dr Borlaug’s journey in the green revolution, he said that we need to defend the gains of the green revolution, address the shortcomings of the green revolution and take the benefits of the green revolution to the newer areas and move towards the evergreen revolution for sustainability and he emphasised on the three pillars of sustainability for achieving this, ecological sustainability, economical viability and social equity.

Prof M S Swaminathan said that Dr Norman E Borlaug has played a key role in the agricultural transformation of many countries. He highlighted the four fundamental changes that Dr Borlaug made in the subsequent agricultural history, firstly his emphasis on public good research and benefitting millions, instead of thinking about how to patent his intellectual properties Dr Borlaug only thought about how to reach the technology to the poor farmer. Secondly his emphasis on using the sunlight in the best possible way, also called as harvest index, that is, how much percentage of photosynthesis goes to the grain formation, the higher harvest index was one of the reason why the yield was high. Thirdly, Dr Borlaug’s introduction of shuttle breeding method which is an important breeding method now and finally, about Dr Borlaug’s interest on getting public policy support for agricultural research. He said Dr Borlaug always encouraged the youth to contribute their best towards agriculture. Prof Swaminathan mainly emphasised the human qualities of Dr Borlaug, he said that science for the public good was his main consideration.

Dr M Sivasamy, Principal Scientist and Head at ICAR-IARI, Regional Station Wellington recalled that the first batch of seeds that were brought from Mexico were sown in Wellington for increasing the quantum, he presented on the ‘Sixty Five Years of Research Contribution of ICAR-IARI, Regional Station Wellington that was actively supported by Dr Norman E Borlaug’. He mentioned the pivotal role played by Dr Norman E Borlaug in providing support in creating research infrastructures during 1960’s to 1990’s, shaping the research priorities and very importantly taking possession of major part of farm area from defence estates during 1998. Dr V K Vikas, Scientist at ICAR-IARI presented on ‘Triticum dicoccum: An old crop with promising future’.

Dr M Velayutham, Former Executive Director of MSSRF spoke about Dr Norman E Borlaug and sustainable agriculture.Dr R Rengalakshmi, Director of Ecotechnology at MSSRF shared the experience of MSSRF with Borlaug Ruan Interns. Dr E D Israel Oliver King, Principal Scientist, MSSRF presented on ‘Dr Norman E Borlaug inspiring youth’.

For the full video of the event click this link!

PDF of the presentation of Dr E D Israel Oliver King on ‘Dr Norman E Borlaug inspiring youth’

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