SVS Shastry, Rice Researcher Dies at 91

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

SVS Shastry, a pioneer in rice research in India, who made immense contribution towards the agriculture sector for more than fifty years died at the age of 91 in Hyderabad.

Shastry along with other researchers had developed high-yielding rice varieties Padma and Jaya that broke the yield barrier in the 1960s. Shastry was the project coordinator (Rice) with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) Delhi, during the period.

Shastry after completing his PhD from the University of Wisconsin joined the IARI and started teaching and research work during 1958 to 1965. He was also the founder-project coordinator of the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP), Hyderabad and also the Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR).

Under Shastry’s leadership, the AICRIP expanded and almost 1,100 rice varieties were released over the past 5 decades under ICAR system, told agriculture scientists in Hyderabad. S RVoleti Director of IIRR said, “We celebrated 50 years of Jaya variety in the year 2015 that was released by IIRR in 1965 and Shastry is a pioneer in rice research.”

Shastry was born in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district in 1928 and got education from there. He won numerous awards including Padma Shri in 1971, the Norman Borlaug Award and Janna Reddy Venkatareddy Prize in 1974. He left behind a son and two daughters.

Shastry has served as the Executive Secretary, International Rice Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Rome and as the Director of Research at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria, during 1977 to 1983.


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