“We were so very saddened to learn of the passing of the good Dr. Swaminathan, one of the heroes of the Green Revolution,” said Dr. Elsa Murano, Director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. “Swami,” as he was known to his friends, was not only a groundbreaking agricultural scientist and plant geneticist, he was also an effective administrator and a world-changing humanitarian. His collaboration was critically important in helping the institute’s namesake, Dr. Norman Borlaug, introduce a new variety of dwarf wheat to India and in helping carry out the trials that resulted in adaptation of the crop to the environmental conditions in the country. As a result, millions of lives were saved. This technology then spread to other countries saving the lives of over a billion people.
Swami was the first person to receive the prestigious World Food Prize, which was established by Dr. Borlaug. He also served in the Parliament of India for one term, and was president of the Pugwash Conferences and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. His other awards included the Albert Einstein World Science Award and, in 1999, TIME magazine named him one of the ’20 Most Influential Asian People of the 20th Century.’
Dr. Swaminathan’s legacy as an agricultural research scientist and policy leader in crop genetics and breeding remains alive at the Borlaug Institute. We will continue to strive to advance not only the Green Revolution, but as Dr. Swaminathan called it the “Evergreen Revolution,” being ever vigilant in protecting our natural resources – a concept he strongly championed. May his legacy never be forgotten!