B. R. Barwale
Died24 July 2017

Badrinarayan Ramulal Barwale (1931 – 24 July 2017) is widely regarded[1] as the father of the Indian seeds industry, who revolutionised farming practices by producing cheaper and higher-yield seeds in the Marathwada region of India.[1]

Barwale was born in 1931 in Hingoli, Nizam state (now Maharashtra), India. He began farming on his family's land in the 1950s, experimenting with a high-yield okra hybrid given to him at the World Agricultural Fair in New Delhi. In 1964, he started the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, also known as Mahyco, where he cultivated the higher efficiency seeds and began selling them to area farmers at an affordable price.[2] Mahyco expanded to a network of farmers producing new seed varieties of several different crops.[3] By providing assistance and guaranteeing loans for farmers cultivating Mahyco's seeds, Barwale's team was able to gain valuable feedback on various crop strains and make subsequent improvements to their yield and quality.[4]

Barwale was awarded the 12th World Food Prize in 1998 for his work in providing affordable, high-yield seed varieties and agronomic training to farmers across India.[5] The President of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan Award in 2001 for his distinguished service in the field of trade and economic activity.

He died on 24 July 2017 in Mumbai at the age of 86.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "BR Barwale, father of the Indian seed industry, is no more". The Hindu Business Line. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  2. ^ ":: Welcome to BARWALE FOUNDATION ::". www.barwalefoundation.org. Archived from the original on 13 August 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  3. ^ "B. R. Barwale: Seeds Of Change". Bloomberg Businessweek. 14 June 1999. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Honour for a 'seedsman'". Frontline. The Hindu. 24 April 1998. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  5. ^ "1998: Barwale". The World Food Prize. Retrieved 13 May 2012.