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Celebrating 100 Years of Norman Borlaug

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Presentation delivered by Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram (Resource Seed International, Mexico) at Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security. March 25 - 28, 2014, Ciudad Obregon, …

Presentation delivered by Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram (Resource Seed International, Mexico) at Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security. March 25 - 28, 2014, Ciudad Obregon, Mexico.
http://www.borlaug100.org

Published in: Science

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  • 1. NORMAN AND ME • POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW IN 1969. IN ONE OF HIS SHORT MEETINGS HE LOOK ED AT ME AND SAID: “HE HATED DEAD WOOD” • NORMAN WAS TEAM BUILDER AND TEAM CREATOR FROM VARIOUS DISCIPLINES. • HE ALMOST FIRED ME IN 1976 BECAUSE OF “JUPATECASO” • BY 1984 WE HAD BECOME FRIENDS AND ENJOYED MANY EVENINGS WITH STEAK AND TEQUILA . • MY OPINIONS AND ADVISE TO HIM WERE DIRECT AND AT TIMES NOT PALATABLE, BUT HE RESPECTED. • VISITED HIM IN 2007 AT HIS DALLAS RESIDENCE WITH DAVE WORRALL (TALL GRINGO). NORMAN PRESENTED ME THE COPY OF HIS CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL.
  • 2. NORMAN BORLAUG PHILOSOPHY • SHUTTLE BREEDING • MULTILOCATION INTERNATIONAL TESTING • LARGE F2 POPULATIONS • LARGE NUMBERS OF CROSSES • HE WAS VISIONARY (DWARFING GENES) • STEM RUST RESISTENCE PARAMOUNT
  • 3. NORMAN AS WHEAT COOLIE • LOVED POOLING F2 POPULATION S • 5 AM BREAKFAST IN “COLD FISH RESTAURANT” IN CD. OBREGON CENTRO • FIVE STAR GENERAL IN FRONT LINE OF BATTLE (WHEAT PLOT) • SPOKE WITH WHEAT PLANTS. OUTSTANDING PLANTS IN F2 GENERATION WERE CALLED NEW BULLS.
  • 4. NORMAN’S VIEWS AND CROMOSOMES • TWO GREEN REVOLUTION VARIETIES KALYANSONA AND SONALIKA HIGHLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO RUST • HE WANTED ME TO FIX IT WITH RUST RESISTANCE GENES • SR MADE AT LEAST 10 000 CROSSES INVOLVING THESE VARIETIES; ALMOST ZERO OUTPUT • WHEN I INFORMED HIM, HE COMENTED THAT “CROMOSOMES DON´T BELLYUP”. • WANTED ME TO CROSS HEAVILY AN ARGENTINE VARIETY “TEZANOS PINTO PRECOZ (TZPP)”; SIMILAR RESULTS WITH TZPP. AK DUBBED TZPP AS TEZANO PINCHE PRECOZ AND RGA CALLEDED IT “RESISTANT TO YIELD.” • NORMAN KEEP INSISTING CROSSING.
  • 5. DR. BORLAUG AND ACADEMIA • IVORY TOWER RESEARCH; PUBLISH AND PERISH; HE WANTED TO BURN ALL PLANT BREEDING BOOKS OR FEED TO COWS. • RESPECTED PROFESORS/ RESEARCHERS: ORVILLE VOGEL, WARREN E. KRONSTAD, CALVIN QUALSET, IRWIN WATSON, RALF CALDWELL, D. RASSMUSON AND E.C. STAKMAN. • GREAT ADMIRATION FOR ERNIE SEARS “SCISSOR SCIENTIST” • NO EUROPEANS WERE MENTIONED • HE DUBBED DEVELOPING COUNTRY RESEARCHERS IN 1960’S AND 70’S AS “WHITE COLLAR DRESSED IN SUIT AND TIE READY FOR MARRIAGE PARTY.” HOWEVER HE WAS VERY UNDERSTANDING WITH THEM, HE CHANGE THER DRESS CODE BY EXAMPLE. • THEY ARE HIS GREAT ADMIRERS AND DISCIPLES
  • 6. NORMAN AND THE ENVIROMENT • RACHEL CARSON “SILENT SPRING”. • HE WAS DISTURBED AS DDT PROTECTED THE HEALTH OF LDC POPULATION. • DESPERATELY WANTED GR TECHNOLOGIES SPREAD IN LDC TO AVOID STARVATION AND HUNGER • NOT AN ANTI-ENVIROMMENTALIST: HE LOVED THE SOILS, BIRDS AND FORESTS • ONLY TIME STOPPED WORKING IN FIELD WHEN A FLOCK OF BIRDS WERE AROUND. • HE USE TO WHISTLE WITH BIRDS.
  • 7. NORMAN AND GM CROPS • HE BELIVED IN “GENE REVOLUTION” • HE ALSO BELIEVED IN BREAD WHEAT AS A WORLD STAPLE, A GM EQUIVALENT ENGINEERED BY “MOTHER NATURE” ,“ABD” COMING FROM DIFFERENT GRASSES. • HE SERVED ON IASA BOARD
  • 8. NORMAN ON FOOD SECURITY, POPULATION BOMB AND LIVELIHOOD • PILE OF FOOD “WAS HIS FIRST ANSWER” • IN CASE OF INDIA HE CONTINUED TO ADVISE INDIAN GOVERMENT ON UNEMPLOYMENT AS MAJOR CAUSE OF DENYING A DECENT LIVELIHOOD TO MILLIONS. • INDIAN PARLIAMENT HAS APPROVED A BILLION FOR FOOD SECURITY. • MALNUTRITION AND HUNGER CONTINUE. IN LAST MONSOON 8 MILLION TONS OF FOOD GRAINS ROTTED. • BUREAUCRACY AND CORRUPTION HAVE DENIED GRAINS COMING TO THE POOR. • NORMAN WOULD SMILE IF PARLIAMENT BILL AND INDIAN SUPREME COURT´S DICTATES WERE FULLY IN PLACE.
  • 9. NORMAN AS HUMORIST • HE TOLD US ALL MEXICAN DIRTY JOKES, BUT ONLY WHEN HE WAS IN WHEAT FIELD • HE PARTICIPATED WITH US IN GAMBLING FOR COKES. HE NEVER LOST. • WHILE WORKING IN FIELD, HE HAD SPECIAL ABILITY TO DESCRIBE WHEAT PLANTS IN HUMAN TERMS. • HE MANY TIMES APPEARED HARSH AND “TS”, BUT INDEED HE WAS KIND, ESPECIALLY TO MEXICAN SUPPORT STAFF
  • 10. NORMAN´S DIET • HE COULD EAT EVERY DAY HUEVOS RANCHEROS “FRIED EGGS”, T BONE STEAK AND TEQUILA. • THESE WERE THE NICEST THINGS SONORAN TRADITION OFFERS • HE HAD THE CLEANEST ARTERIAL FLOW ACCORDING TO MEDICAL REPORT. • I PERSONALLY DEVIATED FROM THESE ITEMS AND FOLLOW JESSE DUBIN´S DIET.
  • 11. NORMAN AND CIMMYT’S FIRST QUINQUENNIAL REVIEW IN MID-1970 • THE REVIEW WAS LED BY DR RALPH RILEY (SIR RALPH) • SIR RALPH AND NORMAN DISAGREED ON EVERYTHING • IT WAS A BATTLE BETWEEN TWO TITANS, KEITH FINLEY IN BETWEEN
  • 12. NORMAN AND CGIAR • CG WAS CREATED IN 1971 AND HALDORE HANSON WAS FIRST DG OF CIMMYT UNDER CG SYSTEM. • SUPORTED HALDORE’S POLICY AT CIMMYT LEVEL • NORMAN FELT CG WOULD BECOME THE BIGGEST BUREAUCRACY IN 30 YEARS. • YOU CAN DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSION
  • 13. NORMAN ON ICARDA • NORMAN WAS A MEMBER OF SELECTION COMMITE IN REGARDS TO SITE IN SYRIA • NORMAN’S PREFERENCE WAS KAMISHLI, BUT FINALLY ALEPPO WAS SELECTED • NORMAN VISITED ALEPPO IN 2006 • HIS GREAT MOMENT OF HAPPINESS WAS MEETING THIS FARMER WHO GREW VARIETY MEXI PAK • HIS ADVICE TO DG BELTAGY WAS TO GET RID OF LAZY PERSONS • NORMAN KNEW MAHMOUD SOLH VERY WELL AND HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEE THAT M. S. HAS NAVIGATED ICARDA EXCELLENTLY OUT OF SYRIA
  • 14. NORMAN AND GLENN ANDERSON • GLENN (RGA), A CANADIAN CITIZEN, WAS THE GREATEST LOSS TO CG, CIMMYT AND WHEAT PROGRAM, WHEN HE PREMATURILY DIED IN 1981 AT THE AGE OF 56. • GLENN WAS NEB’S WHEAT AMBASSADOR IN INDIA • I HAVE NEVER SEEN NORMAN CRYING, BUT HE CRIED AT GLENN’S FUNERAL IN WINNIPEG
  • 15. THANK YOU!