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Meet The Father Of Agronomy In India M. S. Swaminathan

Pietro de'Crescenzi is the father of agronomy whereas Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is known as the father of agronomy in India. Know more about the Indian Father of Agronomy Swaminathan, who has been an inspiration for many.

Vivek Singh
Father of Agronomy in India M.S. Swaminathan (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)
Father of Agronomy in India M.S. Swaminathan (Photo Courtesy: Krishi Jagran)

M. S. Swaminathan is often referred to as the Father of Agronomy in India and the Father of the Green Revolution in India. He is a renowned Indian agricultural scientist and geneticist who made significant contributions to the field of agriculture, particularly in increasing food production in India and other developing countries.

Father Of Agronomy M. S. Swaminathan's Role in The Green Revolution

M. S. Swaminathan Early Life and Education

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan was born on August 7, 1925, in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India. He earned his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in agriculture from the University of Madras and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi, respectively. He later pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution was a period of rapid agricultural transformation characterized by the adoption of high-yielding crop varieties, improved irrigation practices, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides to increase crop yields. Swaminathan played a pivotal role in introducing and promoting these modern agricultural techniques in India during the 1960s and 1970s.

Introduction of High-Yielding Varieties (HYVs)

Dr. Swaminathan collaborated with other scientists, agronomists, and agricultural institutions to develop high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice. These new crop varieties were characterized by their ability to produce significantly higher yields per hectare compared to traditional varieties. They were also more responsive to fertilizers and other modern farming techniques.

Key Contributions:

  1. Development of Wheat Varieties: Dr. Swaminathan and his team played a crucial role in developing high-yielding wheat varieties, notably the "Kalyan Sona" and "Sonara 64." These varieties exhibited remarkable yield increases, making India self-sufficient in wheat production and reducing the country's dependence on food imports.

  2. Rice Revolution: In addition to wheat, Dr. Swaminathan's efforts led to the development of high-yielding rice varieties such as IR8 (also known as "Miracle Rice"). These rice varieties significantly increased rice production and transformed India into a rice-surplus nation.
  3. Technology Transfer: Dr. Swaminathan emphasized the importance of transferring agricultural technology to farmers. He advocated for the dissemination of HYVs, along with modern farming practices, to rural areas. This helped small-scale farmers adopt improved agricultural methods, leading to increased productivity and income.

  4. Policy Advocacy: Dr. Swaminathan also played a pivotal role in advocating for supportive agricultural policies, including access to credit, irrigation facilities, and price support, to complement the adoption of HYVs.

Advocacy for Sustainable Agriculture

While Swaminathan is known for his role in the Green Revolution, he has also been a strong advocate for sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. He has emphasized the importance of biodiversity conservation, organic farming, and the protection of natural resources.

Awards and Recognitions

Swaminathan's contributions to agriculture and food security have earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, which are among India's highest civilian awards. He has also received the World Food Prize for his work in improving food production and security in developing countries.

International Impact

Swaminathan's work extended beyond India, as he shared his expertise with many other countries facing similar agricultural challenges. His ideas and strategies played a role in the success of agricultural transformations in other parts of the world.

Continuing Influence

Even after his official retirement, M. S. Swaminathan remains active in the field of agriculture and continues to be a prominent figure in discussions related to food security, sustainable agriculture, and rural development.

M. S. Swaminathan's contributions to Indian agriculture and his global influence in the field of sustainable agriculture have left a lasting legacy. He is celebrated for his dedication to improving food production and alleviating hunger in the developing world.

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