Mumbai, May 9, 2016: Padma Bhushan recipient, agriculture visionary and philanthropist, Dr. B.R. Barwale, Founder-Chairman, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Private Limited (Mahyco), has been honoured with the Maharashtra Corporate Excellence (Maxell) Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, for his outstanding contribution towards the development of the agriculture sector in the country.
The Awards, now in its 5th edition, are conferred by the Maxell Foundation, a non-profit making registered charitable trust, conceived as ‘a movement committed to recognize and reward the architects of change, those who dared to dream big and look beyond the horizon’. Every year, eminent members of the business community and entrepreneurs from the state of Maharashtra are recognised by the Maxell Foundation, under various categories. Dr. Barwale was presented with the Award by distinguished industrialist and Chairman of the Bajaj Group of Companies, Mr. Rahul Bajaj at an event organized on May 7, 2016 at Nehru Centre Auditorium in Worli, Mumbai. The function was attended by eminent personalities from Maharashtra including scientist Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, noted journalist Kumar Ketkar and other renowned industrialists.
Speaking on the occasion, the octogenarian Dr. B.R. Barwale said, “At the outset, I would like to thank Maxell Foundation for this encouraging recognition of “Lifetime Achievement Award”. I accept this award on behalf of millions of Indian farmers who have made this country self-sufficient in cereal crops with their hard work. I would also like to thank on this occasion my colleagues at Mahyco, and my family, who have helped realise my vision of application of science for solutions to farming challenges, through seeds. On this occasion, I must acknowledge the support and sacrifice of my wife Mrs. Gomati Devi, particularly in the early years of building my dream. Raju Barwale, my son and Usha, my daughter, have also worked hard with me in making Mahyco a pioneer in Indian Seed Industry.”
Dr. B. R. Barwale is one of the early stage agri-entrepreneurs post-Independence whose efforts not only led to the development of the seed sector in the state of Maharashtra but also across the country. His learnings in life were shaped by his participation in the freedom movement in his early years, and the philosophy of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Apart from his immense contributions to the seed and agriculture sector, Dr. Barwale also played a leading role in providing access to affordable healthcare and education to large part of the rural population, especially in the Marathwada region. Widely recognized as the father of the Indian seed industry, Dr. Barwale’s work and distinguished contribution towards the growth of the private seed sector and towards agriculture in general through path breaking innovations over the last five decades, made a lasting impact in transforming the lives of millions of farmers, making him an easy and natural choice for the award.
He pioneered the introduction of high-yielding seeds to farmers which ushered in a revolution by significantly enhancing farm productivity in the state and country. In keeping with his vision, Mahyco was the first to produce Hybrid maize in Maharashtra, first to introduce Hybrids in several crops in India – Jowar, Bajra, Sunflower, Wheat, Genetic Male sterility based Cotton Hybrids and some of Vegetable Hybrids. In 2002, Mahyco introduced Bt Cotton, India’s first Biotech crop in partnership with Monsanto which revolutionised the country’s cotton production from 136 lac bales in 2002 to over 375 lac bales in 2014. Bt Cotton helped in making India the largest producer of cotton in the world, and the second largest global exporter of cotton, from being a net importer before the introduction of this technology.As one of the oldest and leading seed companies, Mahyco’s journey started from Jalna in Maharashtra in 1964 and since then the company has been working tirelessly for the betterment of the farming and rural community. Maharashtra being the home state, Mahyco from its very inception strived to contribute to the growth of the region. . Over the past 52 years, both Mahyco and its founder Dr. B.R. Barwale have won several awards and honours both from Indian as well as global organizations. The most prominent among them being the ‘Padma Bhushan’ from the Government of India and the World Food Prize.
Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Private Limited (commonly referred as “Mahyco”) is one of the largest and most diverse private sector seed companies in the country. It was founded in 1964 by Dr. B. R. Barwale, an entrepreneur with a farming background, in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The company slowly grew to its present stature with a footprint across India. Since 1964 Mahyco has used R&D to establish itself as a pioneer of high quality hybrid/open-pollinated seeds, through strict adherence to its motto, “Quality Seed – Mahyco Seed”. This has earned the trust of farmers across the country. The company is currently engaged in research, development, production, processing and marketing of products in agriculture.