Mahyco founder, Dr B R Barwale passes away

Known as the founder and Chairman of one of the biggest players in the seeds industry, Dr B R Barwale has been also a renowned figure for his philanthropic activities and varied interests


New Delhi: The founder and chairman of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited (Mahyco), Dr B R Barwale is no more. Aged 86, he passed away on July 24, 2017.

Born in Hingoli (Maharashtra), Dr Barwale went on to become one of the iconic figures in the agriculture sector and is known for his contribution to seed sector and food security. He is widely regarded as father of the Indian seed industry due to his efforts to develop a strong seed pipeline in India. With the influence of institutions like Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Rockefeller Foundation, he established Mahyco in 1964 and thus became a doyen of the seed industry in India.

As a recognition for his “superior accomplishments in developing the role of private seeds enterprise in India, Dr Barwale was aptly felicitated with 12th World Food Prize in 1998. The President of India awarded him with Padma Bhushan Award in 2001 for his distinguished service of high order in the field of Trade and Economic Activity. More recently, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated him during the 1st International Agro-biodiversity Congress 2016, at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi, in recognition of his immense contribution to Indian agriculture.

In 1996, he received the prestigious award of Honorary Life Membership of FIS which is the International Apex body of the Seed Industry. In addition, he received recognition and award from Marathi Vignan Parishad in the year November 1973 and he was entitled as Father of Seed Industry in India for his outstanding work by Crop Science Society of America. Business Week recognized him as The Star of Asia on June 14, 1999. On 14th March 2002, he received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science ( Honoris Causa ) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Dr Barwale’s other main mission in life was to provide the best care for the eyes. Getting inspiration from the famous Sankara Netralaya in Chennai, he established, about a decade ago, the now famous Shri Ganapati Netralaya in Jalna, Maharashtra. This is the world class facility, was built in an area of 7.5 acres of land with 141 beds and 36 fully equipped consulting rooms.

In an official statement, Mahyco mentioned, “Grieved to share about the sad demise of Dr B R Barwale. He devoted his life for the upliftment of Indian farmers and the best way we can honour him and his life – is to continue to take his legacy forward.”