“Man can and man must prevent the tragedy of famine in the future instead of merely trying with pious regret to salvage the human wreckage of famine, as he has so often done in the past.”
– Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of green revolution
The Borlaug Institute for South Asia, was established on 5 October, 2011 with R&D centres in the districts of Ludhiana (Punjab), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Samstipur (Bihar). The institute was built on the bequest of Dr. Norman E Borlaug, the father of the green revolution, the winner of the very prominent Nobel Prize (1970) and the recipient of the Government of India’s Padma Vibhushan (2016).
What exactly is the Borlaug Institute for South Asia?
The Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), is a not for profit institute devoted to food, nutrition and livelihood security. In contrast to environmental rehabilitation in South Asia, which is home to more than 300 million under nourished people across the globe. It is mainly functional in a collaborative way, which involves active participation by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). The apex motive of BISA is to harness the latest technology in the agricultural sector, in order to improve the farm productivity in terms of both quality and quantity and sustainably meet the demands of the future.
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Food processing Industries, Sharad Pawar launched the Borlaug Institute for South Asia while expressing his concern over the deteriorating environmental conditions which are severely impacting the food production industry.
The main strategies of the BISA, as stated in their official website http://www.bisa.org include the following:
- Strategize research aimed at doubling food production in South Asia while using less water, land and energy.
- Ensure access to the latest in research and technologies that are currently not available in the region.
- Develop technologies for higher productivity in rice, maize and wheat based farming systems.
- Create a new generation of scientists to work with new technologies through training programs that will retain them in South Asia.
- Develop a policy environment that embraces new technologies and encourages investments in the agricultural sector.
- Develop and utilize BISA as a regional platform that focuses on agricultural research in the whole of the South Asia.
- Enable researchers to pursue multiple strategies and research possibilities while simultaneously allowing for more meaningful collaborations with national institutions.
Statistics speak that with the emergence of The Borlaug Institute for South Asia, the development of the farms has been close to reaching its peak during the last three years. BISA has been successful in overcoming a major challenge to the farmers, which is to integrate a legume into the cereal-cereal cropping system, which tends to close the window of the dry season. BISA has paved its way towards sustainable intensification, conservation agriculture and increasing the water use efficiency. Punjab’s rise is the agricultural sector has been a defining storyline of the 21st century.