In 1963, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug joined with Indian scientists, policymakers, and farmers to trigger a Green Revolution which took South Asia from famine to self-sufficiency in a few short years. Though the achievement earned Dr. Borlaug the Nobel Prize, he warned this boost in food production was temporary and would last only 20-30 years. Unfortunately, Dr. Borlaug’s warnings proved accurate. In 2008, the world experienced a major food crisis. In 2009, the number of hungry people surpassed 1 billion for the first time in history. With the number of hungry people growing annually, it is now time for a second Green Revolution. And with half the world’s poor living in South Asia, India is the ideal location.
The Union Cabinet today approved the proposal of Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Research and Education to accept the proposal of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) to establish an international institute, namely, Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) in India with centres at Ludhiana in Punjab, Pusa in Bihar and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
CIMMYT is authorised to establish BISA at three centres- one each at Punjab, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. BISA will be conferred an international status as contemplated in clause 3 of United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947. The Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) on behalf of Government of India will be authorized in all matters regarding establishment of the institute. DARE will be authorised to conclude the agreement/MOU between the Government of India in the DARE and CIMMYT.
The establishment of BISA in India will enable India to harness the best of international science, in meeting food security challenges. India would be able to rapidly and effectively absorb the research output of BISA thus benefiting farmers of the country. A major International R&D institution will make India even a bigger centre for agricultural research in the world and this, in turn, may attract further research & development investment in the country.
Together, CIMMYT and the government of India will launch a new, state-of-the-art, international agricultural research and development center. The Borlaug Institute of South Asia will boost agriculture productivity by adapting wheat and maize varieties able to thrive despite the challenges of climate change, natural resource scarcity, diverse ecosystems, and increasing market demand. Learn more here.
Source: Press Information Bureau
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