Norman E Borlaug with C Subramaniam, the then Minister of Agriculture, Government of India (centre) and M S Swaminathan, a legendary figure in Indian agriculture.
Throughout history, stress on food production systems has threatened lives and human potential. To address the challenges of human hunger, Norman Borlaug, an American scientist, developed successive generations of wheat varieties adapted to growing conditions across many degrees of latitude, and with exceedingly high yield potential from 1944 to 1963. Joint agricultural research done with fellow scientists in Asia and Latin America, led to viable technologies to blunt hunger and promote global food security, in what was called the Green Revolution.
We have learned much since the transformative, collaborative research began in the 1940s. Today, efforts continue to advance research for integrated solutions to food security. For example, to meet the food needs of the world population in 2050, 60 percent more food needs to be produced from limited land, water, nutrient and labor resources. Therefore, the focus of BISA research is on improving local productivity to produce more food to meet national and regional demands. Additionally, because nearly 85 percent of global food is produced by smallholders, BISA research focuses on improving productivity from small farms through better seed, mechanization and farming practices. Lastly, through country-led partnerships, BISA aims to strengthen governance policies for improved adoption of new technologies in a package of practices for similar ecological zones, thereby continuing Borlaug’s vision and legacy of fostering sustainable global food security.
“Norman Borlaug is the living embodiment of the human quest for a hunger free world. His life is his message.”