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Crop Biotech Update

India to Set up Borlaug Institute for South Asia

November 27, 2009

India's Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar agreed to support the setting up of a Norman Borlaug Institute for South Asia in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in India. Dr. Thomas Lumpkin, Director General of CIMMYT proposed the idea to set up an institute in memory of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug during the inaugural session of the International seminar on "Meeting Challenges of Global Wheat Production: A Tribute to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug" organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) from 21 to 22 Nov 2009 at New Delhi. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Father of India's Green Revolution along with Agricultural Ministers of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal fondly remembered Dr.  Borlaug who helped India achieve self sufficiency in key staples like wheat and rice in the1960s-70s at a time when India was critically suffering from food deficit and largely dependent on food import to feed a burgeoning population.

Minister Pawar recalled his four decades long association and paid his tribute to Dr. Borlaug, who helped alleviate hunger and poverty through the development and dissemination of input-responsive semi-dwarf wheat varieties in wheat growing countries. India owes a lot to his unprecedented and innovative contributions, said the Minister. He also announced that India has instituted a National Professorial Chair in Biotechnology for Crop Improvement, which is equivalent to Vice Chancellor of Agricultural University, at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. In addition, India has named important wheat varieties after Dr. Borlaug.

For more information about the International wheat seminar visit http://www.iari.res.in or http://www.icar.org.in For information about biotech development in India contact  b.choudhary@cgiar.org and k.gaur@cgiar.rog