ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. R. S. Kanwar, former Additional Director of Research (Agriculture) and Director, Sugarcane Research, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (1970-1991) was an eminent Sugarcane scientist. He did his Master of Science (M.Sc. Agronomy) from Punjab University in 1956 and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, Columbus, USA/ IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi) in Sugarcane Agronomy under the joint Indo-US Training Program in 1970.
His most outstanding research contributions are the development of COJ 64, COJ 83 and COJ 85, three exceptional early maturing high sugar content varieties ; poly-bag technique for quick seed multiplication; inter-cropping technology with wider inter-row spacing; development of agro-techniques for raising successful ratoon crop from winter harvested crop and improved nitrogen use efficiency with soil applied insecticides.
As Additional Director of Research (Agriculture), Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and his short stint as Director of Research (1979-1980) in Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, he gave new directions to agricultural research in the two northern states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. He also worked as Senior Sugarcane Consultant to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Pakistan (1987-1988).
He was a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the ICAR Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore and Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow. His name has been published in national and international biographies. He has to his credit more than 250 research publications in national and international journals and was a recipient of a number of awards and honors. He was a member of a nodal group on Sugarcane Research & Development, Punjab Government and was on the Board of Directors & Consultant to most of the prominent Sugar Mills in North India. He was widely traveled and visited important Sugarcane growing countries of the World.
He was a workaholic and always keen to improvise agricultural research for the benefit of the farmer. His whole thought process was always encompassed with fresh ideas and a will to work for Sugarcane, his first love.
He lived a flawless and healthy life till 2002 when he was unfortunately diagnosed with a benign tumour of the left kidney. But against all medical advice he kept on working relentlessly till the end and succumbed to the disease exactly on his 75th birthday.
He will live on with the majestic Sugarcane crop, as tall and lanky as himself, growing in the fertile Indo Gangetic plains forever.