On the occasion of the World Earth Day our basic task is the conservation of diversity and pluralism in all living organisms ranging from microbes to man. In particular, we need to promote gene banks for a warming planet. In this connection, the following three kinds of community gene banks developed by MSSRF are worthy of replication.
Genetic garden of halophytes – this is to preserve gene pools for breeding crop varieties tolerant to sea water in coastal areas, as a part of anticipatory research to face the challenge of sea level rise.
Genetic garden of biofortified plants like moringa, sweet potato, etc. This is for helping to find agricultural remedies for prevailing nutritional maladies, in particular micronutrient deficiencies like vitamin A, vitamin B12, zinc, iron, etc.
Farm gene bank for the in-situ conservation of agrobiodiversity relevant to promoting a climate smart agriculture.
The above three examples may serve to illustrate the need and opportunities for conserving agrobiodiversity for launching an era of biohappiness. At the same time, there is need for greater emphasis on developing sustainable water security systems.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.