Odia scientist Swati Nayak wins Norman Borlaug Award
The award, instituted by World Food Prize Foundation, is named in honour of Nobel Laureate and Green Revolution’s chief architect Dr Norman E Borlaug.
BHUBANESWAR: Odia scientist Dr Swati Nayak has been named the 2023 recipient of the Norman E. Borlaug Award for field research and application for her work in the field of food and nutrition.
The award, instituted by the World Food Prize Foundation, is named in honour of Nobel Laureate and Green Revolution’s chief architect Dr. Norman E Borlaug. A scientist and South Asia Lead for Seed System and Product Management at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Dr Nayak was selected for the award for her innovative approach to engaging farmers in demand-driven rice seed systems.
She is the third Indian and first Odia to receive the award. She has so far organised more than 10,000 extensive on-farm trials for more than 500 rice varieties, working with thousands of smallholder farmers across diverse ecosystems in Asia and Africa. In Odisha, Nayak and her team formulated a strategy for introducing the drought-tolerant rice variety ‘Shahabhagi Dhan’ which remains an integral part of every farm family’s diet and crop rotation. For this, she is referred to by the local communities as ‘Bihana Didi’.
“I am privileged to live in an era in this country where women agriculture scientists and researchers are given tremendous opportunities to innovate, scale and work towards a joint pledge,” Nayak said. Congratulating Nayak, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said her outstanding contribution in the field of agriculture and food production will inspire young scientists from across the world.