IGA is sad to announce the recent death of Dr. Canagasaby Devendra. He died peacefully on June 17, 2021 after a short illness in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with his wife by his side. He leaves behind his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons.
Known to everyone by his last name, Devendra or Dev, he played an essential role in IGA’s development. He was one of the founders of IGA, an IGA Vice-President, and a member of the Board of Directors. In addition to his well-respected scientific research on all aspects of goat production, he was an outspoken advocate for environmentally sustainable livestock development that benefitted low-income families worldwide.
In January 1982, during the 3rd International Conference on Goats, Devendra was a member of the International Goat Association planning meeting. This meeting was a select group of internationally recognized leaders in the goat world who developed the foundations of IGA and included Christian Gall, Pierre Morand-Fehr, Jean Boyazoglu, and George Haenlein.
As a member of the first Board of Directors, Devendra helped establish IGA as an international entity and contributed to its development and success. He continued writing, teaching, mentoring, and publishing throughout his life and has over 19 books and approximately 496 mostly peer-reviewed publications and chapters in books. Recent additions are Goats: biology, production and development in Asia (2007), and Small farms in Asia: revitalizing agricultural growth, food security, and rural prosperity (2010).
We are the heirs to Dev’s pioneering work, scientific rigor, and profound compassion that brought attention and respect to the goat sector.
Recently, we received an email from his son, Akash Devendra, who said, “His work and the camaraderie of his colleagues around the world gave him so much satisfaction in life. My mum and I will have had the good fortune to meet many of you over the years and extend our very best wishes and warmest regards.”
We hope you will share your memories (on the IGA Blog) (in the comments below) of his contributions to your professional and personal life as we mourn his passing.
7/26/2021 03:24:58 am
I had the good fortune of meeting Dev way back in 1986, soon after completing my graduation from University. Dev had been my academic referee and an amazing well wisher.I had immense satisfaction of meeting Dev and his family in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. A huge fan of wonderful game of cricket and a passionate cricket player. Dev touched so many lives though his knowledge of animal nutrition and immense passion to improve livelihood of people in rural communities raising small ruminant as income source. His contribution will remain for a very long time through his huge body of research and development work in many countries. Dev left a wonderful legacy.
7/28/2021 01:57:08 pm
I am very sorry to hear about Dr. Devendra's passing away. He was an advocate of goat research if ever there has been one.We met very briefly in Kuala Lumpur in 1988 and again at the 9th International Conference on Goats in Querétaro, México, in 2008. I was amazed by his on-going work to improve the livelihoods of goat keepers. At the conference meals I remember him challenging the Mexican colleagues to have him taste real hot food - something that they, acording to Dev, couldn't fulfill, as nobody could possibly beat the Thai cuisine.
8/1/2021 05:40:10 pm
Dr. Devendra was a pioneer in research and promorion of goats, especially dual purpose and dairy goats. He was one of the founders of the International Goat Association and the Small Ruminant Research Journal, which have been instrumental in recognizing goats as an essential food and cash producing animal especially for small farmers and developing countries to eleviate poverty and malnutrition. He was one of the publishers of the first and only NRC Goat Nutrient Requirement books and organizer of several influential international Goat Conferences in Addis Ababa - Ethiopia, in Tirupati - India and in New Delhi - India. He was prolific in publishing proceedings of several regional goat conferences. For his research he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree, from the American Dairy Science Association he received their international Science Award, and from the University of Delaware a one semester distinguished visiting professsorship. He was working for the Malaysian Academy of Sciences, later for the Canadian International Research Center, and more recently for the International LIvestock Research Institute in Nairobi - Kenya, and was awarded with the International Agriculture Award by the World Association for Animal Production in 2013. Among his many important book publications is his last one a monument to his life's work: "Synergising Productivity Impacts from OIl Palm - Ruminants Silvopastoral Systems: The Unfinished Agenda", where he discusses in detail his strategies to alleviate proverty and malnutrition in the developing world.
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