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Dr. B. R. Barwale (1931-2017) was born in Hingoli, Maharashtra on Ganesh Chaturthi in 1931. He got involved in the Freedom Movement of India and therefore could not continue his College Education. With the influence of institutions like Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Rockefeller Foundation, he established Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited 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.

The Green Revolution

As a boy, Barwale left his family's small farm to join the resistance movement that was then working to hasten the end of Nizam rule. In the years that followed, Barwale returned to his family's farm. In the 1950s, the Indian government initiated plans to dramatically modernize agriculture. Giving birth to India's "Green Revolution," public organizations like the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) helped to radically improve agricultural yields through the introduction of genetically superior grain varieties.Although most Indian farmers operated on a subsistence level, Barwale chose to increase the yields and production of his family's farm. He looked forward to the day when large quantities of food could be grown domestically by many Indian farmers and shipped to the burgeoning cities to increase the food supply.The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) had been working with the latest hybrid and high yielding varieties of maize and wheat from Mexico. When officials from the Rockefeller Foundation, working in India decided to help create a private-sector seed industry to expand the government's effort, they went to the 30-year-old Barwale on the strength of his reputation. They knew he had the necessary experience and motivation to grow and market these new crops. Hybrid maize came out in 1962-63 and sorghum in 1964. Prior to that time, Barwale had been selling seeds of Bendi (Okra) on a fairly modest scale. As soon as the chance arose to try these new hybrids, Barwale jumped at the opportunity. Responding to the need for a production system, Barwale took associates and began marketing his own brand name varieties. Although there was virtually no private sector to support such an effort, Barwale persevered, eventually creating a modern seed industry that greatly supported the India "Green Revolution. "The accomplishment is no less revolutionary than independence in the context of India's troubled economy. In the 1960s, millions of the landless rural population flocked to the streets of big cities, while hundreds of millions of farmers scratched a meager living from the soil without the benefit of improved tools or modern farming methods. Per capita annual income was less than $60 U.S. The Indian government wanted to nationalize some industries and closely regulate others. Everyone understood that food production was the most vital of enterprises, but there was question about the role of the private sector. Barwale, for one, was eager to answer that question

An India transformed

The Mahyco Research Foundation was established by Barwale to address the growing needs of the population in India. With rice a major focus of food security in that country today, seminars, information booklets, extension activities and laboratory backup systems are in place to make hybrid rice a reality in India.
The other objective being training of the ophthalmologist who have passed their post graduation and awarding them fellowships in general ophthalmology so that they can setup their own hospitals and utilize the teaching for the benefit of the needy patients. The new leap today is in the development of new ophthalmologist by providing them DNB training in ophthalmology. The Foundation has also made a million-dollar, three-year grant to ICAR to support its crop research program in rice. Barwale is working with officials who are seeking to duplicate the "Barwale model" in Africa, a country that now faces many of the challenges India faced some fifty years ago. His son, Raju, and daughter, Usha, manage the business giving him more time to devote to other activities. With a clear understanding in his mind of what unique opportunities were given to him by the society as a whole, Barwale has tried to give back what he so abundantly received. In particular, he has worked through the Mahyco Research Foundation Trust to establish a state-of-the-art ophthalmology centre at Jalna under the name Shri Ganapati Netralaya, to provide free or subsidized eye care to the rural poor. As well, Barwale remains committed to building facilities in education and health care that help the rural population of the area where he first got his start.