8th September, 2014
ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi conferred Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris causa) on Dr. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) here today in a special convocation. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Emeritus Chairman & Chief Mentor, MSSRF presented the coveted degree to DG, FAO.
In his convocation address, Dr. Graziano complimented Indian Agricultural Research System and the government for according top priority to sustainable development in which the approach of more crop, per drop is the foremost one, as water is the critical and limiting resource for agriculture. ‘Simply producing more food is not enough’, he said. ‘We need to increase production, sustainably, and ensure access to all. The solutions we need today might be different than decades ago, but to respond to these multiple and interconnected challenges we need to be as innovative as the Green Revolution was’, he added.
While sharing his experiences for working towards zero hunger, he urged global community to act locally and globally for the cause. Dr. Graziano emphasized hunger is not a natural phenomenon, it’s a man made political problem, hence needs political solutions. He stressed the need to develop nation specific programmes for alleviation of hunger. DG, FAO also highlighted the important role of family farming in elimination of hunger and appreciated the cash electronic transfer scheme to poor families. In the world of today, plenty of food is available but the power to purchase food is limited, he said. FAO and India can work together through more collaboration for combating hunger in the region.
Dr. Graziano was honored with prestigious fellowship of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) which is regarded as think tank of the India on agriculture and related issues. While conferring fellowship, Dr. R.B. Singh, Past President, NAAS, highlighted the central role of Dr. Graziano in implementation of zero hunger programme in Brazil which realized unprecedented results.
Dr. Graziano released a publication of IARI and 18 varieties of crops such as wheat, rice, chickpea, soybean and vegetables. He also visited NAAS, National Agricultural Science Museum and appreciated showcasing of IARI innovative technologies and products. DG, FAO interacted with eminent scientists and senior officials of the NARS on various issues related to hunger and agricultural research.
Earlier, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan appreciated DG, FAO for his leadership in the zero hunger programme that has contributed to the upliftment of millions of hungry people in Brazil. He also appreciated and highlighted some of the noteworthy achievements of the IARI that have helped transform Indian agriculture. By citing various examples, he said IARI is the mother of all Agricultural Universities in the country.
Dr. K. Vijayaragavan, Director, IARI presented the report of the director, while Dr. R.K. Jain, Dean, IARI presented the candidate and read the citation indicating outstanding contributions of Dr. Graziano in the field of food security, agriculture and rural development.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR welcomed the Chief Guest, dignitaries and participants of the event. He made an illustrative presentation, ‘Indian Agriculture: Country Focus- Global Reach’ highlighting recent achievements and future research thrusts of the ICAR.
Among dignitaries, Ambassador of Brazil in India; Dr. Peter Kenmore, FAO Representative in India; Shri Arvind R. Kaushal, Additional Secretary, DARE and Secretary, ICAR; Dr. Gurbachan Singh, Chairman, ASRB; and Dr. Rakesh Muthoo, Senior official, FAO graced the occasion.
Vice Chancellors of Agricultural Universities, Directors of ICAR institutes, Members of the Board of Management and Academic Council (IARI), former directors and deans of IARI, senior officials of ICAR and other related national and international organizations were present on the occasion.
Shri Arvind R. Kaushal, Additional Secretary, DARE and Secretary, ICAR proposed the vote of thanks.
(Source: Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, ICAR)