Inauguration of the MSSRF30 Conference

A galaxy of experts and representatives from organizations from across the world were part of the brainstorming on the way ahead, as the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary. Inaugurated by the Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu Thiru Edappadi K Palaniswami and the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Thiru O Panneerselvam, the International Conference focused on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Strengthening Science for Climate Resilience.

Dr Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson MSSRF, pointed out that MSSRF is focusing on researches pertaining to adaptation to climate change as it is a key global issue. Dr N Anil Kumar, Executive of MSSRF, while presenting the annual report marked on Prof Swaminathan’s emphasis on sustainable development from the early years, beginning from the Science Congress in 1968. Now the importance of sustainable development is focused widely through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr N Ram, Chairperson Kasturi and Sons, recalled and thanked the Government and former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu Dr M Karunanidhi and Dr J Jayalalitha for leasing out the land for the Foundation at the very beginning. The political leadership assured the gathering of their continued support. Mr N Ram also spoke about achieving sustainable development goals through modern science.

The Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in his special address and released 30-Years’ MSSRF Innovation and Impact Report. During his speech he congratulated Prof MS Swaminathan and MSSRF for the agricultural research work that the Foundation is doing and stated that a state’s development majorly relies on agriculture. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu delivered the inaugural address and released the 2018-2019 MSSRF Annual Report and Policy Influence Report. In the inaugural address, he listed the achievements of Prof M S Swaminathan and stated that Tamil Nadu continues to be one of the largest producers of food crops by following various innovative and productive agricultural methods.

Prof M S Swaminathan during his presidential speech said that we need to focus on nutrition security as we focus on food security. Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Deputy Director General of Programmes at the World Health Organization emphasized on the increasing connect between agriculture nutrition and health.

The technical sessions of the conference were embellished with presentations on significant developments and global experiences from Ms. Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and UN FAO’s Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Eric Kenefick, Country Director, UN World Food Programme, Dr. Siebe Schuur, Agricultural Counsellor accredited in India and Sri Lanka, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Ambassador Kenneth M Quinn, President, World Food Prize Foundation, USA.