Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Award for Leadership in Agriculture 2010 was awarded to Dr. Sanjay Rajaram, an Eminent Wheat Breeder, by Hon’ble Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, on Saturday 18 December, 2010.
The award has been instituted by the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS) and is given annually to such Agricultural Scientist whose research work has made visible impact on the life of common man. Present award was the fifth in the series. The first one was given to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the famous agricultural scientist and he is the only one scientist to be awarded Noble Peace Prize.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, handing over the Plaque of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
Award to Dr. Sanjay Rajaram
Dr. Rajaram, recipient of the present award is an old associate of Dr. Borlaug and has worked at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico for over two decades. He has been responsible for developing over 480 high yielding wheat varieties grown in over 60 m ha in India. These varieties have revolutionized wheat productivity in India.
Speaking at the Award Presentation Ceremony, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam lauded the work of Dr. Rajaram and highlighted that in order to meet the challenges of coming decades (2030) when the population of our country will cross the 1.80 billion mark and the agricultural land will shrink to about half of the present area, there is a need to resort two innovated agricultural practices, besides application of new technology. He sighted three examples of such innovations adopted by farmers which demonstrated ingenuity and skill to achieve these targets. These examples primarily demonstrated: (i) skillful management of the available natural resources, (ii) multiple cropping/mixed cropping, (iii) good storage and marketing system.
He talked about the concept of Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) proposed by him. This proposal is finding favour with the Govt. of India and is likely to be implemented soon. With synergy between scientists like Dr. Rajaram and the philosophy of PURA, there is no doubt that the anticipated target of high yielding varieties productivity 130 mt of food grains would be achieved.
Dr. Rajaram thanked TAAS for giving him the prestigious award.
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