In 2007, Norman Borlaug called Rajaram “the greatest present-day wheat scientist in the world”. Borlaug is known as the father of the Green Revolution.
Born in a small village in India, Rajaram worked to be the top in his class as he moved through school, and dedicated his life to making direct improvements for farmers and all people who depend on agriculture.
Now a citizen of Mexico, Rajaram conducted the majority of his research in Mexico at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre.
His work there led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production - by more than 200 million tons during the 25-year-period known as the “golden years of wheat” - building on the successes of the Green Revolution.
Rajaram worked side by side with Borlaug at CIMMYT before succeeding him as head of the wheat breeding program in 1972.
He implemented a major expansion of Borlaug’s approach, advancing his mentor’s work during the ‘golden years’ of wheat breeding and production. Under Rajaram’s leadership, the centre developed 480 wheat varieties released in 51 countries and were widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike. At a news conference, Rajaram said he wholeheartedly supports genetically modified crops. But the World Food Prize laureate said caution is still needed in their adoption. (PTI)