IRRI scientist honored with Borlaug Field Award for her work on farmer engagement and empowerment

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Photo caption: Together with women farmers in Odisha, India, Dr. Swati visited a field site to validate germplasms recommended by the national agricultural research and extension systems.

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES (September 19, 2023) – International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) scientist Dr. Swati Nayak – a highly accomplished researcher known for her pivotal role in engaging farmers in demand-driven rice seed systems, from testing and deployment to access and adoption of climate-resilient and nutritious rice varieties – has been honored as the recipient of the 2023 Borlaug Field Award by the esteemed selection jury of the World Food Prize.

Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Borlaug Field Award, named in honor of the renowned agricultural scientist and Nobel laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, is presented annually to individuals under the age of 40 whose pioneering and exceptional science based work have significantly advanced the world’s food production and helped alleviate hunger and malnutrition. The recipient is awarded USD10,000 and an award diploma.

Nayak’s illustrious career, spanning over 13 years, has been characterized by outstanding contributions, unwavering perseverance, and a profound commitment to bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and practical applications.

Apart from being the South Asia Lead for Seed Systems at IRRI, Nayak also has been serving as the lead for cereal seed system group under the key initiative SeedEqual of CGIAR.

Throughout her career, Nayak has organized more than 10,000 on-farm and comparative testings and participatory evaluations for more than 500 rice varieties and disseminated more than 20 critical path-breaking varieties that are climate resilient, high-yielding, bio-fortified, and healthier through seed systems and scaling channels in many countries. One of her critical accomplishments include her role in positioning and creating early entry points for many potential drought-tolerant varieties in India. Nayak…

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