The Breakthrough Science society condoles the sad demise of the eminent scientist and agronomist
Dr M S Swaminathan at his residence in Chennai on Sept 28.
Dr. Swaminathan played a key role in introducing improved farming methods and high-yielding
wheat and rice varieties developed by the Nobel-winning agricultural scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug.
This greatly increased agricultural productivity, which, to a large extent, eliminated the necessity of
importing food grains. Even though the problems of monoculture and overdependence on chemical
fertilizers and pesticides became apparent in later years, the importance of the Green Revolution in
ensuring food security cannot be underrated.
As an institution builder, he played a pivotal role in developing the Indian Council of
Agricultural Research, creating the Nuclear Research Laboratory at the Indian Agricultural Research
Institute, and developing several Institutions in other countries, including the International Rice
Research Institute in Philipines (of which he was the first Asian Director).
In recent times, when the farmers were facing financial problems, he advocated fixing the
minimum support price at 150% of the comprehensive cost of production. The governments did not heed
this recommendation, which became a major demand of the year-long farmers’ movement in 2020-2021.
He stood for promoting scientific temper and supported the India March for Science movement.
He was particularly vocal against the spread of unscientific ideas and pseudoscience in the country.
The country and the international science community have lost one of its leading scientists.
Signed by Dhrubajyoti Mukhopadhyay (President) & Soumitro Banerjee (General Secretary)