The “Father of the Green Revolution in India” took his last breath on September 28, 2023. He embodied revolution and spirit that fed millions of hungry stomachs. Although he is not with us today, his contributions and impact on people will be with us forever, which will inspire generations to come. His efforts led to the foundation for food security and ignited many to continue his legacy. His immense contribution in developing and promoting high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice helped to transform the country from a food deficit to a food surplus nation. When Bharat was struggling to get food from America under the PL480 program, he played an instrumental role in making Bharat self-reliant in food production. In the 1960s, he worked with Prof. Norman Borlaug, an American agricultural scientist, to introduce high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice in India and played a key role in promoting the adoption of new agricultural technologies by Indian farmers. He established a network of demonstration farms and training programs to teach farmers how to cultivate the new high-yielding varieties. After Independence, Bharat produced approximately 50 million tons of food grains, and now we are producing 330 million tons of food grains and exporting farm produce of value more than 50 Billion USD.
Bharat is growing on a solid foundation of food security which was built by the initial efforts of Prof. Swaminathan. The Green Revolution had a profound impact on increasing food production by over 200 per cent between 1965 and 1985. This helped to avert widespread famine and poverty in Bharat. For his humanitarian efforts, he received numerous awards and honors, including the Padma awards, Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Albert Einstein World Science Award, and the World Food Prize. He was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament. He was a visionary leader, scholar, and humanist who dedicated his life to improving the lives of millions of people by reducing poverty, improving food security, and boosting the economic growth and livelihoods of people. He was a champion of sustainable growth and development which emphasized evergreen revolution, with a focus on both improving productivity and environmental sustainability. He established a foundation named “M S Swaminathan Research Foundation” which supports human and institutional capacity building. He is considered one of the most revered personalities in the history of Indian agriculture. Today, the world has lost a doyen of agricultural research, development, and humanity, but every time we eat a bowl of rice, he will be remembered.
On behalf of Global Indian Scientists and Technocrat Forum-USA and the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin, to my mind, it is these achievements and his contributions to global agriculture, that will be his longest-lasting legacy. May his divine Soul attain Moksha. Om Shanti.