M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation – India

Chair holder: Prof. Dr. M.S. SWAMINATHAN
Full Chair title: UNESCO-Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair in Ecotechnology
Date created: 1996

Address: M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) - 3rd Cross Road, Taramani Institutional Area Chennai (Madras) 600 113 - INDIA
Telephone: +(91-44) 22 54 27 90 / 12 29
Fax: +(91-44) 22 54 13 19
E-mail: swami@mssrf.res.in; chairman@mssrf.res.in
Web site: www.mssrf.org

Other contact: Dr. Sudha Nair (Senoir Director, JRD Ecotechnology Centre)
E-mail: sudhanair@mssrf.res.in

The M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) was established in 1989 to impart a pronature, pro-poor, pro-women and pro-job orientation to technology development and dissemination. For this purpose, the Foundation and its Ecotechnie Chair have chosen Ecotechnology as the method and the Biovillage as the operational tool at the field level.

Under the MSSRF National Resource Centre for Ecotechnologies, numerous training programs are organized for farmers, students, professors and other stakeholders. These Ecotechnology programs include integrated attention to agricultural and non-agricultural employment, training in the production of biological software for sustainable agriculture and the harmonization of biotechnology and organic farming. Field training programs include farm level production of biopesticides, biofertilizers, organic farming resulting in eco-certification, low-external input sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, in addition to the establishment of pulse (a leguminous crop) villages. These training courses are given in collaboration with Ohio State University (USA); Ion Exchange Environmental Farm Ltd., Pune (India); the Indian Space Research Organisation, Banglore; Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, New Delhi ; Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai (India) and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mumbai (India).

Since 1996, almost 6,000 students, decision-makers and farmers have been trained by MSSRF. The Chair has also initiated an eco-entrepreneurship project, which encourages rural communities, and particularly women, to establish micro-enterprises supported by microcredit for sustainable development.
The MSSRF is the coordinator of the Asian Ecotechnology Network (AEN).

The Chair is involved in research and field project activities in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve under the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. This work has resulted in the creation of a Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Trust with multi-stakeholder participation in management, so as to conserve this unique biological heritage for current and future generations.