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MS Swaminathan, the scientist responsible for India’s “green revolution,” passes away at 98.

By Sep 29, 2023

India laments the passing of the mastermind behind the ‘green revolution’ of the 1960s, which put an end to the nation’s protracted food shortages.

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, a prominent agricultural scientist who helped lead India’s “Green Revolution” and revolutionized agriculture, has passed away. He was 98.

After a distinguished academic career that saw him get 84 honorary doctorates from some of the greatest universities in the world, Swaminathan passed away on Thursday at his home in the southern city of Chennai due to an age-related ailment.

The agriculturalist and plant geneticist played a key role in introducing industrial farming to India in the late 1960s and early 1970s, helping to reduce widespread famine and make the nation food self-sufficient.

The so-called “Green Revolution” in India helped low-income farmers by transforming the northern states of Punjab and Haryana into a breadbasket for the production of wheat and rice.

The project, often referred to as a transformational age in Indian agriculture, extended the use of irrigation and fertilizers and introduced high-yielding crop varieties. When widespread famine was rife in India, grain output grew tremendously.

His work creating cultivars of wheat and rice with higher yields and teaching farmers how to grow them helped India go from being a food importer to being an exporter of food.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X, previously Twitter, that “his revolutionary achievement in agriculture impacted the lives of millions of people and provided food security for our nation” at a “particularly vital era in our nation’s history.

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