Regarding this latest award, Dr. Devendra said the following, “I am deeply humbled by the award which came unexpectedly, but am greatly encouraged by your extremely kind recognition of my work over the past decades.”
“I also remember fondly the camaraderie of my peers in whose splendid company I have been privileged to work with across regions who have been very generous with the numerous discussions, joint efforts, and sharing of their expertise. Additionally, I have had the privilege of visiting and learning from the exciting work of our younger colleagues and by the advances being made.”
“I cannot take credit for all my work during these past years, as R&D results are never the solitary output of a researcher, but rather the combined efforts of community-based, participatory farmer-researcher-extension continuum. This stems from the belief that systems-oriented team efforts will drive progress in agricultural development and rural growth.”
Dr. Devendra believes that animal production is currently at a crossroads, confronted by major problems more than ever before. On the one hand, the World Bank has reported that it is one of the fastest growing subsectors in agriculture. On the other hand, there are many awesome emerging problems which include inter alia:
- Inadequate production and supplies animal protein from concerted application of yield-inducing technologies;
- Continuing poverty, food insecurity and vulnerability of small farmers;
- Targeting rain-fed areas to due contraction of arable land;
- Waning agriculture, its revitalization and the need for increased investments in R&D; and
- Climate change.
According to him, these and other key issues constitute the challenges for the future, in which resource efficiency, integrated NRM, increased investments in R&D, and promoting the multifunctional and potential contributions of ruminants like buffaloes and goats in agriculture development. These issues are the collective concern of both the developing and developed countries. In the long term, we need to ensure that animal production has a sustained higher profile, capacity to reduce food insecurity and improve livelihoods, and enhances self-reliance and human welfare.