Ravi Singh, head of wheat improvement and rust research at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), received the Sh. VS Mathur Memorial Award 2022 for outstanding contribution in the field of wheat crop improvement from the Society for Advancement of Wheat and Barley Research (SAWBAR).
Singh received the award from T. R. Sharma, Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and G. P. Singh, Director of the Indian Institute for Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) at ICAR.
As recipient of the award, Singh delivered a lecture during the 61st All India Wheat and Barley Research Workers’ Meet in Gwalior, India, on August 29. He highlighted and praised the partnership between India and CIMMYT as essential for accelerating gains in wheat yield despite the stresses of climate change thanks to improved resilience in new varieties and earlier sowing.
“The ICAR-CIMMYT wheat improvement partnership remains crucial for delivering new varieties with higher rates of genetic gain in farmers’ fields to enhance productivity, climate resilience, disease resistance and nutrition while meeting market needs,” he said.
Successes of the partnership include integrated breeding with a common agenda, commercialized varieties that are adapted to flexible sowing dates including early sowing, diverse and durable resistance to rust diseases, adoption of wheat blast resistant varieties in large areas, biofortified and high-quality varieties, and the move towards mainstreaming of zinc (Zn) biofortification.
Singh also paid homage to the award’s namesake, as VS Mathur’s “wheat varieties once occupied fields of many millions of farmers and provided food and nutrition to many more millions throughout India and beyond”.
SAWBAR was founded in 2007 and is housed at ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research Karnal (Haryana) India. The Society presently has 300 life members and more than 320 annual and student members. SAWBAR is playing a significant role in bringing wheat and barley researchers on one platform for the exchange of innovative research and dissemination of knowledge related to the latest research happenings in the area of wheat and barley improvement. Annually, SAWBAR gives awards to pioneer cereal workers in various award categories.
About the Sh. VS Mathur Mathur Memorial Award:
The Sh. VS Mathur Memorial Award was constituted in year 2018 in the memory of eminent wheat worker Sh. VS Mathur. Mathur was one of the pioneer wheat workers who worked tirelessly with MS Swaminathan and HK Jain and developed a large number of high-yielding wheat varieties viz. Heera, Moti, Janak (HD 1982), Arjun (HD 2009), HD 2177, HD 2182, HD 2204, HD 2236, HD 2278, HD 2281, HD 2285, HD 2329, HD 2307 and HD 2327 for various regions of India.