2) MS Swaminathan addresses ICRISAT (December 2001)

Professor MS Swaminathan, one of the architects of the Green Revolution of the sixties and seventies, and winner of the World Food Prize, was Chief Guest at today's Annual Day function at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Swaminathan was one of the founding fathers of ICRISAT in 1972, when as Director General of the Indian Council on Agricultural Research, he joined with the other two legs of the 'ICRISAT Tripod', Dr C Fred Bentley of Canada, who served as the Institutes first Governing Board Chairman, and Dr Ralph W Cummings Senior of the USA, ICRISAT's first Director.

Unfortunately, only two of the Tripod's 'legs' were able to attend the function: Dr Cummings passed away in June of this year. He was represented by his son, Dr Ralph Cummings Junior. Dr Bentley, in his address, applauded the continued excellence of research at ICRISAT, and exhorted the staff to continue their work on behalf of the farmers of the semi-arid tropics.

Dr William D Dar, ICRISAT's Director General, welcomed the visitors and encouraged his staff to live up to the expectations laid down by the Institute's founders. Commenting on the contradictions between scientific advances amongst poverty and civil unrest, he quoted an earlier statement by Professor Swaminathan: “Where hunger rules, peace cannot prevail.”

Reflecting on the Green Revolution, Dr Swaminathan stressed that adequate support was necessary for agricultural research, especially on the so-called 'orphan crops' of the dry tropics. "Otherwise orphans will remain orphans. We need to increase crop productivity sustainably.To import food is to import unemployment."

Echoing the ICRISAT slogan, Dr Swaminathan announced that, "We are entering an exciting phase of science, but it must be Science with a Human Face. India needs science that will increase not only the country's Gross National Product, but also its Gross National Happiness!”

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