By Meenakshi Chandiramani, Vibha Dhawan, Raj Gupta, Pankaj Singh and Parvinder Singh/CIMMYT
Dr. Norman Borlaug’s birthday was celebrated by CIMMYT staff throughout India in March.
CIMMYT staff from the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) joined 200 farmers, farm workers and government officials at the BISA Research Farm in Ladhowal for prayer and a shared meal called langar (food for all) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Borlaug. The event recognized Dr. Borlaug’s role in reducing hunger and poverty across the globe and how his legacy is continued through BISA’s objectives.
P.S. Pangli, office bearer of the Punjab Agricultural University farmers’ club, and Hardev Singh Ghanour also remembered Dr. Borlaug for his contributions to the farming community and his special attention to Punjabi farmers. Participants proposed that a progressive farmers’ association be formed in Dr. Borlaug’s name, the details of which will be decided in consultation with BISA management. They also suggested organizing a farmer fair to celebrate this anniversary in the future.
The event was run with help from the entire BISA team and left the audience committed to follow in Dr. Borlaug’s footsteps. The anniversary was also recognized in the National Agricultural Science Complex, Pusa, New Delhi. CIMMYT-India and BISA staff participated in the event and paid tribute to the Nobel Laureate for his tireless efforts against hunger around the world and particularly in South Asia. Vibha Dhawan and Ashwani Yadav garlanded Dr. Borlaug’s statue, which was unveiled by Shri Sharad Pawar, India’s Minister of Agriculture, in August 2013. The statue is located in front of the office block in the CGIAR-NAAS complex.
Dr. Borlaug was remembered for his services to humanity. CIMMYT and BISA staff members are continuing his efforts by using agricultural research for development to benefit South Asian farmers.