Dr. Devendra earned a Bachelor of Agriculture Science degree while in New Zealand, a Master of Agriculture Science in Malaysia, and his Ph.D. and DSc degrees from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. His specialization is in animal nutrition and animal production systems, central to which is integrated natural resource management and agricultural systems. He is an international tropical animal production specialist with experience spanning over thirty years in research and development initiatives.
Of course, there are many book publications by Dr. Devendra, which speak volumes about his efforts to promote the understanding of the science and management of goats, not to mention the many awards that he has collected.
He has worked in the University of the West Indies in Trinidad; MARDI in Malaysia; and the Animal Production Systems Asia programme with IDRC in Canada. He was a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force of ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya, and subsequently as Senior Associate. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, ADB, UNDP, FAO, IAEA, Commonwealth Secretariat, USAID, and several governments.
He was Distinguished Visiting Professor to the University of Delaware, USA, and has also been an external examiner to the Universities of Queensland, Australia, and Uppsala, Sweden, and the University of Life Sciences in Aas, Norway. He is on the editorial board of four international journals and consultant to seven others. Dr. Devendra was the first Asian recipient of the International Dairy Production award from the American Dairy Science Association in 1989.
Here is a small sample of Dr. Devendra’s numerous achievements, and the awards and accolades that he has received:
- In 1979, he was invited to present a research paper at the very first International Symposium of Dairy Goats at the Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association.
- In 1980, he attended with George Haenlein, Maurice Shelton, and David Huston at a Conference of the National Research Council to publish the first and only book on Nutrient Requirements of Goats.
- In 1983, he invited George Haenlein to present a joint research paper on goat nutrition at the International Livestock Improvement Center at Addis Ababa - Ethiopia.
- In 1989, he was awarded a distinguished professorship for one semester at the University of Delaware.
- Also, in 1989, he received the distinguished International Dairy Science Award from the American Dairy Science Association at their Annual Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky.
- He organized an international symposium in Tirupati, India in 1990 with the focus on Goat Research by the Year 2000.
- He was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Minister of Agriculture, Vietnam in 2001.
- In 2004, he received the Lincoln University International Alumni Medal from New Zealand, and the Asian Animal Science award from Korea. He is an academician of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
- In October 2013, he was honored with the Third International Animal Agriculture Award by World Association of Animal Production (WAAP) and was the first Asian and Developing country recipient.
- In April 2014, he was honored with “The Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Animal Nutrition Society of India.
Impact on IGA
Dr. Devendra played an essential role in IGA’s development. In January 1982, during the 3rd International Conference on Goats, Dr. 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. This group included Christian Gall, Pierre Morand-Fehr, Jean Boyazoglu, George Haenlein, and Dr. Devendra.
As a member of the first Board of Directors, Dr. Devendra played an essential role in establishing IGA as an international entity and in its development and success. This Board consisted of Jean G. Boyazoglu (Greece/South Africa), C. Devendra (Malaysia), Christian Gall (Germany), George F. W. Haenlein (USA), Peter Holst (Australia), Pierre Morand-Fehr (France), Maurice Shelton (USA) and Clair E. Terrill (USA). In 2018, we mourned the death of Jean Boyazoglu, and then in 2019, we mourned the passing of Christian Gall.