We will miss you Raj...
Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram passed away.
Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram (Raj with his widely known name) was born in India in 1943. After completion his Phd in plant breeding from the University of Sydney in Australia, he started as a wheat breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) with Norman Borlaug in 1969. In 1972, he became the director of CIMMYT at the age of 29 and continued for 33 years. Then, Raj joined the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) as Director of Integrated Gene Management; he formally retired in 2008, however he continued as consultant for another 3-4 years. After his retirement he formed a private breeding company in Mexico that he was still providing valuable germplasm to the breeding programs all over the world. Rajaram's distinguished work lead to release around 500 varieties of bread wheat in 51 countries, which are selected from the germplasm he developed. They were grown around 60 million ha globally.
Rajaram was the elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He was awarded 2014 World Food Prize in 2014 for his valuable contribution to reduce the hunger and increasing the livelihoods of small holder farmers.
Raj was one of the main founders of International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (IWWIP), which is a tri-party program carried out by Turkey-CIMMYT-ICARDA.
Anyone in the world who works on wheat development somehow his/her way crossed with him and Raj contributed to many International and National scientists’ career/development.
He died due to COVID-19 on February 17, 2021… We will miss him… We, as IWWIP family, wish, May his soul rest in peace…
Photo 1. Borlaug and Rajaram are evaluating the Wheat Nurseries
Photo2.; Raj delivers a speech in the ceremony he was awarded for WFP
Photo 3.; Raj is visiting IWWIP wheat trials in Turkey with IWWIP team.