Inspired By The "Father Of The Green Revolution."
Inspired By The "Father Of The Green Revolution."

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Varshney was born in Bahjoi, a small town in the western Uttar Pradesh, India’s fourth largest and most populous state, which is roughly the size of the United Kingdom.

"Like rest of India, agriculture is the leading occupation of most people in my home town and essential for economic development," he says.

After schooling in Bahjoi, Varshney graduated with Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Botany with specialization in Genetics, Plant Breeding and Molecular Biology from Aligarh Muslim University, India.

But his Eureka moment came when he was at a conference talk given by Nobel Peace Prize winner and "father of the green revolution” Norman Bourlaug. pgslot

"Professor Borlaug, while discussing the Green Revolution and challenged the next-generation of scientists to embrace new tools and technologies to tackle food security issues in the developing world, "Varshney says, "Professor Borlaug’s challenge was, to me, an early career researcher, the impetus to take up upstream research to improve crops for yield, nutrition and climate resilience: I had my epiphany at that conference."

Varshney says that not long after, he knew he couldn’t continue working on the genomics of malting quality in barley, especially when he didn't drink alcohol and hailed from a part of the world when there was a dire need to integrate genomics in plant breeding for the sake of producing more and healthy food. 

"The Global South, where the world’s poorest reside, is set to be affected disproportionately by climate change," he says, adding that it is also home to the harshest landscapes to farm and will see a far higher growth in population that is not commensurate with its food production capacity.

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