2013 saw the completion of 25 years of research, education outreach and networking by our scientists and scholars. I wish to recall what the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee mentioned in our 25th anniversary meeting on 7 August 2013:
“On this special occasion, I congratulate all the Trustees, scientists and scholars of this Foundation on their past achievements and wish all of you continued success in your efforts to integrate livelihood and ecological security in a mutually reinforcing manner in rural and tribal India”.
The President also mentioned in his address “the work done over the last 25 years by the scientists and scholars of this institution bears testimony to the vast untapped potential we have in our youth. Our first priority in reaping the demographic dividend must be in the field of food”….the nation counts on you and awaits your further contributions”.
We must continue to fulfill the expectations of our Rashtrapatiji as well as our other well wishers and donors. Above all we should rise to the expectations of the tribal and rural families with whom we work. To those more is given, more is also expected. We have to run twice as fast to stay where we are, as emphasized frequently by Jawaharlal Nehru. At the same time we must maintain the highest standards of professional and financial integrity.
2014 will be marked by two significant events at MSSRF. First, the Norman Borlaug Birth Centenary Dialogue on “Take it to the Farmer” is scheduled to be held from 13-15 March 2014. I enclose a provisional programme. Second, Asia-Pacific conference on the Year of Family Farming will to be held in August 2014. I enclose a copy of the side events which we plan to organize on that occasion. The Aspee Research Foundation is instituting a special award to honour an outstanding farm family. In addition, we are also hosting the 3rd International Plant Phenotyping Symposium from 17-19 Feb 2014 (provisional programme enclosed).
I hope you will take an active part in these important events and help our country to be a role model in making farming and allied activities the trigger for a happy nation. Our work on overcoming malnutrition is very important for enabling every child born in our country to have an opportunity for a productive and healthy life.
I wish you and your family good health and much happiness during the New Year.
With my best wishes,
M S Swaminathan