MS Swaminathan

ILRI mourns the death of MS Swaminathan

The International Livestock Research Institute is saddened to learn about the death of MS Swaminathan. He was a key architect in bringing about an agricultural revolution in India and the world which helped to improve food security and make India self-sufficient in reducing hunger.

He was a staunch advocate of a holistic role for mixed farming systems. He once said: "Agriculture involves crop husbandry, animal husbandry, forestry, and fisheries. Your income will go up only if you look at the system, and not from one crop alone.” 

He also recognized the contribution of livestock and fisheries to agriculture growth. "I had written that if you want to achieve 4 per cent growth rate in agriculture, you should have 8 per cent growth in animal husbandry and fisheries and 8 per cent in horticulture.” (source)

On ILRI's 40th anniversary, he spoke at celebrations in India.

He reminisced that he was the Vice Chairman of the CGIAR Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) when it recommended to establish both the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD), which eventually merged together to create ILRI.

He also reiterated the importance of livestock for sustainable development and gender equity. "Livestock and livelihoods are so closely related in India. And the ownership of livestock is much more egalitarian than the ownership of land. Therefor the livestock sector's importance for poverty alleviation is so obvious." 

We are grateful for his dedication to agriculture and livestock development in India, and his unwavering support for ILRI over the years.

Our condolences go out to his family and the nation of India on the death of this great 'father of the green revolution'.

MS Swaminathan presents at ILRI-ICAR Partnership Dialogue

MS Swaminathan presents at ILRI-ICAR Partnership Dialogue in New Delhi on 7 Nov 2012 (ILRI/Nils Teufel).