Global Ag Leader M.S. Swaminathan to Visit NU
swamiGlobal Ag Leader M.S. Swaminathan to Visit NU

Daugherty Water for Food Institute will host World Food Prize Laureate Oct. 10

One of the world’s leading experts in sustainable agriculture and food security will visit the University of Nebraska in October to present the inaugural program in a new public lecture series focusing on agriculture. Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, the first World Food Prize laureate, a member of the upper house of Parliament in India, and chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, will present the first Heuermann Lecture on meeting the world’s growing food needs.

The participation of Swaminathan, known as the Father of the Green Revolution in India, comes at the invitation of NU President James B. Milliken and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute. In March 2011, Milliken and Swaminathan jointly hosted a symposium in Chennai, India, on Managing Water Resources for Food Security, sponsored by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum.

The new Heuermann Lectures in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, Neb., long-time university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska’s production agriculture, natural resources and rural life. Swaminathan’s lecture, “Food Security in an Era of Price Volatility and Climate Change,” will be presented at 3:00 p.m. on October 10 at Hardin Hall on UNL’s East Campus. A 2:30 p.m. reception at Hardin Hall precedes the lecture. Swaminathan is being hosted at the University of Nebraska by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute.

“Dr. Swaminathan is a great man who has had a remarkable career and enjoys a tremendous reputation around the world,” Milliken said. “He is one of the giants of sustainable agriculture and rural development and has been a great partner with the University of Nebraska and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute. This is an opportunity for Nebraskans to hear from one of the true pioneers in agriculture.”

A plant geneticist by training, Swaminathan received the World Food Prize in 1987 for introducing high-yielding wheat and rice varieties to India’s farmers. The award often is described as the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in agriculture.

Swaminathan has been called the father of economic ecology; he was the catalyst of the green revolution movement in India between 1960-1982 that moved the country from having the world’s largest food deficit to producing enough grain to feed all its people, and continues to champion the “evergreen” or sustainable agriculture movement. He is also known for his significant contributions in promoting the knowledge, skills and technological empowerment of women in agriculture. The recipient of 62 honorary degrees from universities that range from his native India to the Netherlands, and from Chile to the U.S., he has received 32 scientific awards and 31 international awards.

“The focus of the Daugherty Institute is research, education and policy analysis in the area of water for food,” Milliken said. “Finding new ways to increase food production with finite water resources is essential in addressing some of the most important issues facing the world today, including hunger, poverty, disease and food security. The University of Nebraska has significant historic strengths in the area of water management and crop productivity, and we will leverage those strengths through the Institute to help develop new solutions to these global challenges.”

Information about Dr. Swaminathan’s lecture and others in the series can be found at
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