8) ICRISAT Scientist Receives China's Highest National Award (September 2001)

Dr KB Saxena (right in the picture), Pigeonpea Breeder at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, has been selected by the State Council of the People's Republic of China to receive the 2001 Friendship Award.'

The Friendship Award, instituted in 1991, is the highest recognition given by China to foreign experts for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the country's social and economic development.

Dr Saxena has been instrumental in reviving Chinese researchers' and farmers' interests in pigeonpea (redgram) as a source of fodder, fuel, soil conservation, and food. His efforts have helped to introduce in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, new short-duration, highly productive pigeonpea varieties bred at ICRISAT, especially for fodder and fuelwood production, and for soil conservation.

“This is a great honor for me, my Institute, and my country,” said Dr Saxena on hearing the news of the award. He and his wife have been invited to attend the award-giving ceremony on 29 September during the celebrations of the 52nd anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Dr Saxena had earlier been honored with the Golden Love Ball Award from the Guangxi province of China for his scientific contributions to the development of the province.

ICRISAT Director General Dr William D. Dar was very impressed with the collaborative pigeonpea experiments in Guangxi province during his visit to China earlier this month and has promised the partners full scientific and technical support on behalf of ICRISAT.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.