Dr. M Govindaraj is Senior Scientist and Crop Development Specialist for HarvestPlus program of the CGIAR of the Alliance since 2021. He manages the biofortification crop development research capacity, product development and networking partnership, and builds research capacities for biofortification mainstreaming in the CGIAR transition, among other tasks in the HarvestPlus program of the CGIAR.
He holds a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-India. His efforts and more than 14 years of experience in crop improvement have been instrumental in the public-private partnership on millet and R4D biofortification. Experienced in pre-breeding, quantitative genetics, population improvement, hybrid breeding, breeding for disease/insect/end-use quality traits, advanced genomics, phenomics, and large-scale product testing including farmers participatory trials and national demonstrations.
Previously, he led the millet biofortification program in India, West Africa, and Central Africa at ICRISAT. Later he coordinated the Asia sorghum breeding program at ICRISAT. Developed and disseminated 14 biofortified cultivars besides over 1000 elite breeding lines and hybrid parents in India and Africa. Established minimum micronutrient (Fe/Zn) as mandatory standards in national pearl millet cultivar release policy in India. Supervised the dissertation research of several master’s and PhD scholars. He is the author of over 120 peer-reviewed publications.His research impact estimated 10 million people will be consuming biofortified millet.
Fellow and member of many scientific societies. Recognized by a variety of individual and team awards, particularly, 2009 International Scholar Award by IPNI, Georgia (USA), MS Swaminathan Best Scientist Award (2018) and the 2022 Norman E Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application by the World Food Prize Foundation. He is currently affiliated to the CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group, Policy and scaling. Playing volleyball, cricket, and badminton. Likes cycling, long-drive, cooking, and listening to melody songs.