India leads 30 nations with largest number of MBBISP winners over the last 8 years


  ~Nation tops with 24 winners in the prestigious program~


~Three students from India win the prestigious scholarships in 2016 for rice & wheat breeding~


New Delhi, November 18, 2016: Since its inception in 2009, India, has achieved a milestone of producing the highest number of winners in the prestigious Monsanto Beachell - Borlaug International Scholarship Program (MBBISP). The country till date has 24 MBBISP scholars from of a total of 89 awardees worldwide that includes 30 nations. The MBBISP program is the premier scholarship program that encourages research in rice and wheat breeding.

India this year has seen three more students being added to this prestigious list who will receive the Monsanto Beachell – Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP) Research Scholarships. The three students include Mr. Gurcharn Singh Brar working in the area of improving genetic resistance to Fusarium Head Blight in durum & brea wheat. Ms. Sreya Ghosh, whose PhD project focuses on developing and fine tuning methods for unbiased gene cloning in wheat, and Ms. Karminderbir Kaur, who is working in the area of development of an in vivo haploid induction system in rice through distant hybridization & manipulation of CenH3 gene.

The Monsanto Beachell - Borlaug International Scholarship Program (MBBISP) is a global program that receives applications from young researchers in the field of agriculture. The program encourages young scientists and university students to develop new plant breeding research for rice and wheat production. The MBBISP program aims to enable and equip the scholars to apply modern breeding technologies to improve rice and wheat in India and globally.

MBBISP aims to ignite the minds of bright young Indian researchers to innovate and share their vision of Indian agriculture and help the farmers produce more from the same amount of land. It honours the accomplishments of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug (Recipient of Nobel Prize in 1970), who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively. Recognizing the importance of rice and wheat in global food security, Monsanto Company pledged $13 million, over a period of eight years, from 2009-2017, to improve yields in these crops as part of its commitment to sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Ed Runge, Director, MBBISP, states, “We are delighted with the outcome of this program over the last eight years. The kind of talent that has been recognized from across the globe is commendable. We as part of the judging panel are confident that the aim of these students are aligned with the vision of Drs. Hank Beachell and Norman Borlaug in the area of food security.”

Apart from witnessing the highest representation of scholars, India can also take pride in the gender diversity of the Indian MBBIS scholars with an equal representation of 12 young men and 12 young women awardees. Thus, setting a model for how science and technology training should proceed in the future.

Arnab Das, Director – Corporate Engagement, Monsanto said, “At Monsanto, we believe that increasing agricultural output to meet the needs of a growing population can be achieved through science and innovation. Through the Monsanto Beachell Borlaug International Scholars Program we are encouraging students to undertake research and build solutions to tackle the challenges around hunger and food security. Indian academic talent has great potential and this has been amply showcased by these highly motivated researchers.”

MBBISP was launched in India in 2009 by eminent scientist Dr. MS Swaminathan. The awarding- winning work of the Indian students includes promising breeding research in enhancement of rice and wheat production. The MBBISP Program has provided financial support of over $3Million since 2009 to the 24 Indian students that has helped them in pursuing their PHD in plant breeding of wheat or rice at top agricultural universities in India and globally.

Dr. Kuldeep Singh, Director - NBPGR, New Delhi said, “We are extremely happy that 8 students from Punjab Agricultural University have been awarded the Monsanto Beachell – Borlaug International Scholars Program scholarship. This will go a long way in ensuring that the research being carried out by these students will help the nation and the world at large in its efforts towards food security. We would like to thank Monsanto for the support they have extended to our students and hope this will inspire many young scientists and researchers to take up crop sciences.”

The MBBISP fellowship provides recipients with the opportunity to develop advanced breeding techniques, conduct at least one season of field work in a developing country and a full package of support, including a generous stipend, tuition and fees, research fees, health insurance, travel and funds for the collaborating institution and advising professor. The program calls for award recipients to conduct at least one season of field work and/or study in a developing country and one in a developed country. The dual country experience is to ensure that students gain a worldview early in their career. In addition to this, the students are provided with a leadership training, which is designed to make the students more effective in their careers, and are also provided with an opportunity to travel to the annual World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

Dr. PM Salimath, Vice – Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur added, “This is an excellent opportunity for the 24 students who have been awarded the MBBISP scholarships to make a difference towards their country and the world. Their research work in rice and wheat, two staple crops critical to food security of billions of people around the world will truly add value to the global effort being undertaken in the field of sustainable agriculture.”

The MBBISP is administered by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the US-based Texas A&M University System. The establishment of MBBISP is part of Monsanto's three-point commitment to help increase global food production in the face of growing demand, limited natural resources and a changing climate.

An independent panel of global judges chaired by Dr. Ed Runge, Director, MBBISP, reviewed the applications. Dr. Runge is also a professor and Billie B. Turner Chair in Production Agronomy (Emeritus) within the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University at College Station.


About Monsanto:

Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture company. We deliver agricultural products that support farmers all around the world.

We are focused on empowering farmers—large and small—to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. We do this with our leading seed brands in crops like corn, cotton and fruits and vegetables. We also produce leading in-the-seed trait technologies for farmers, which are aimed at protecting their yield, supporting their on-farm efficiency and reducing their on-farm costs.

We strive to make our products available to farmers throughout the world by broadly licensing our seed and trait technologies to other companies. In addition to our seeds and traits business, we also manufacture Roundup® and other herbicides used by farmers, consumers and lawn-and-garden professionals.

Monsanto could not exist without farmers. They are our customers--the lifeblood of our company. More important, they are the support system of the world's economy, working day in and day out to feed, clothe and provide energy for our world.


For further information, please contact:

Arun Gopalakrishnan

Public Affairs

Monsanto India

+91 7738283718 

Santosh Castelino

Edelman India

+91 7506549290