TAFE Chairman & CEO, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan was awarded the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) today at Coimbatore. This was conferred in recognition of her contribution to global agriculture, machinery business and academia. She is the first lady from the Indian Tractor Industry to be conferred this honour at the 38th convocation ceremony of TNAU.
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan was awarded the Honoris Causa by the Chancellor of TNAU and Hon. Governor of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Vidyasagar Rao. The ceremony was graced by the presence of Mr. K. Ramasamy – Vice Chancellor of the University, Mr. R. Doraikkannu – Pro Chancellor of TNAU and the Agriculture Minister of Tamil Nadu, and the chief guest of the ceremony, Dr. C. D. Mayee – President, South Asia Biotechnology Centre along with the Professors and the new graduates of TNAU.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, said, “I am immensely privileged to have been chosen to receive the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from this prestigious world renowned institute that has been serving the farming community for over a century. I extend my gratitude and thanks to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) for bestowing this unique honour on me. This honour will, no doubt, be a great inspiration to me and my team at TAFE, as we continue to serve the farming community both in India and in other developing markets of the world.”
Personifying TAFE’s philosophy of ‘Cultivating the World’, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan has played a key role in the development of agriculture across the nation through initiatives that positively impact the lives of farmers. Taking forward the founder’s vision of empowering the Indian farmer, she has led the development of JFarm, TAFE’s adaptive agricultural research and training centre, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, established in 1964 by her father and TAFE’s first Chairman, Mr. A. Sivasailam. Under her leadership, JFarm has focused on developing an integrated farming model for small and marginal farmers, farm initiatives for soil, water and nutrient management to increase productivity through mechanisation. JFarm also advocates organic farming and its activities in developing a low cost modified hydroponics system have been widely appreciated.
Reacting to the news of her doctorate, Mr. Ravichandran a progressive farmer said, “I’m very pleased with this news. From the farmers point of view we don’t merely consider TAFE as yet another agricultural company. We consider it as the true friend of farmers. TAFE’s JFarm, has motivated many people to take up farming as their career including me. I’m sure under the able stewardship of Ms. Mallika Srinivasan and the dynamic management team and dedicated staff, we the farmers would continue to benefit from the century old group and farming gets transformed to an enviable profession. I truly believe ”TAFE is the pride of Indian Farmers” My very best wishes to the TAFE – CEO. She richly deserves such honor.”
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan has transformed agriculture in the Northern parts of India through the setting up of JFarm Rajasthan at Bhawanimandi, Dt. Jhalawer, which replicates the pioneering efforts of JFarm, TamilNadu, helping farmers of Rajasthan and subsequently those from nearby states.
Leading the way in global agriculture Mallika Srinivasan has also encouraged the extension of JFarm’s activities to other developing economies and TAFE is in the process of setting up such facilities aimed at improving farm productivity and sustainable farming, leveraging relevant mechanisation in association with several countries in Africa. It has established partnerships for skill training and development and piloting small farm sustainability programs in Malawi, Tanzania and Rwanda, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast and is involved in developing multipurpose farmer centers across the African continent.
Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, justifies the epithet ‘Tractor Queen of India’ transforming TAFE to become the world’s third largest tractor manufacturer and India’s largest exporter of farm equipment. A thought leader and a strategist, widely recognised for her business acumen, she has developed relevant technology to suit evolving needs of the farmers, optimised costs, and tapped global markets to establish TAFE as a quality mass manufacturer of tractors and a lean, resilient organisation that can weather the cyclicality of the business.
An excerpt from the citation read, “TAFE’s JFarm, located at Chennai and Rajasthan, established as a CSR initiative, engages in adaptive research and provides farm extension services, covering a variety of crops, as an advisory service to farmers to enhance yields and promotes among farmers, knowledge of cultivation practices and the latest technological advancements. It is this effort of many decades that has won her acclaim.
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University takes great pride in placing on record the exceptional achievements of Padma Shri Mallika Srinivasan and takes privilege in honouring her, in recognition of her contribution to global agriculture, machinery business and academia.”
She is one among the Board of Directors of AGCO Corporation, a global farm equipment major in the United States of America, Tata Steel Limited and Tata Global Beverages Limited. She is the first lady to have assumed the role of President of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Ms. Srinivasan has held prestigious board positions at IIT Madras and the Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy.