New Delhi, 5 October, 2011
Shri Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, launched the establishment of Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) in a ceremony here today. While acclaiming the mighty role of Padma Vibhushan and Nobel laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug in the food self-sufficiency of India, he underlined the genesis, relevance and importance of the BISA in the South Asian region. Given the increasing stress on agriculture production, it is also the appropriate time to open such an Institute, to address the various challenges impacting food grain production, he added.
Elaborating the emerging challenges before agriculture, especially in the South Asian region, he said, 'though mankind has historically organised itself on the basis of nation states, the fact is that we are environmentally, ecologically, climatically, one world. That being so, it is appropriate and heartening that international collaboration in agriculture research has worked successfully for over five decades now, and that an international effort is now to be made, through BISA, to look at the emerging problems of wheat and maize production in South Asia.' I have no doubt that ICAR and CIMMYT will ensure that Borlaug Institute becomes a truly world class agriculture research facility and acts as the magnet to attract talented agricultural scientists from all over the globe, he stated.
Dr. Ramkrishna Kusmariya, Farmer Welfare and Agriculture Development Minister, Madhya Pradesh remarked on the importance of BISA in India, especially in Madhya Pradesh where wheat and maize play an important role in the food security of the population. He also reiterated the strong commitment of the State Government for supporting the BISA center at Jabalpur.
Shri Sucha Singh Langah, Agriculture Minister, Punjab paid tributes to Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and elaborated the important contribution of the state in food security of the country. He also expressed deep concern over deteriorating environmental conditions which are impacting food production. He hoped that the center at Ludhiana will find ways to tackle these.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR and Dr. Thomas A. Lumpkin, Director General, CIMMYT signed MoU on behalf of respective organizations. Earlier, Dr. Ayyappan welcomed the dignitaries and said that this joint initiative of ICAR and CIMMYT is opening a new era of partnership between two world class agricultural research organizations.
Dr. Lumpkin while proposing vote of thanks, called it a momentous affair and hoped that synergies between ICAR and CIMMYT will address the emerging challenges before agriculture and help ensure food security in future
The establishment of BISA in India with centers at Ludhiana in Punjab, Pusa (Samastipur) in Bihar and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh will enable the country to harness the best of international sciences, in meeting food security challenges. Collaboration between two organizations will be intensified and defined through five-year 'Work plans for Scientific and Technical Partnership on Maize and Wheat Systems'. Funding and in-kind support will come from the Government of India and a consortium of international and regional, public and private investors.
The ceremony was well attended by Senior Officials of the Government of India, State Governments, CGIAR institutions and ICAR.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)