Team Shakti

Dr. Sundaram Seshadri

Honorary Secretary and Advisor -IFTR, AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre
About Dr. Sundaram Seshadri

Dr. Seshadri is the Advisor -Life Sciences and part of MCRC Rural Development Programme (MRDP) & MCRC Rural Technology Initiative (MRTI) at Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC), Taramani, Chennai and the Technology Business Incubator at Sathyabama University, Sholinganallur, Chennai. He also serves as Honorary Secretary of Indigenous and Frontier Technology Research Centre (IFTR), Chennai 600061 promoting appropriate technologies for rural areas, and Chair of the Strategic Committee at Bharathiya Yuva Shakti Trust, CII, Chennai promoting entrepreneurship at grass root levels. He is one of the Regional Mentors of Change for Atal Tinkering Labs in schools supported by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Government of India in Tamilnadu. He is also the Co-Founder of Theevanam Additives and Nutraceuts Pvt Ltd., Biotech Research Park, IIT Madras, Chennai, E2E Biotech, Bangalore Bio innovation Centre, Bangalore and Moxieelan Advisory Services, Chennai. Prior to this, Seshadri was Principal Scientist & Director at Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC), Taramani, Chennai. Before MCRC, Seshadri was serving as Scientist at Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education, Chennai and Microbiologist at Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals Limited, Pettavyathalai. A Botanist with 30 years of experience in teaching, research, development, and extension he has guided students for master’s and Doctoral Programs and has more than 80 publications. Acted as a reviewer for various journals including Bioresource Technology, Bioprocess Technology, Current Science, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, International Journal of Integrative Biology, Journal of Basic Microbiology, Philippine Agricultural Scientist, and Process Biochemistry. He served as the Member of Board of Studies in Plant Biology and Biotechnology of various Universities / Colleges and currently in the Board of Studies of Madras Christian College, Chennai and Ethiraj College, Chennai; Life Member of Association of Microbiologists of India, Asian PGPR Society for Sustainable Development, Treasurer of the Indian Biomass Association, Member of Muthayammal Polytechnic Institution's Institution Innovation Council and General Body of Inba Seva Sangam, Sevapur and Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. His areas of interest in research and development include appropriate technologies and interventions for alternative livelihood income generation programs; microbial technology for sustainable agriculture; microbial and plant biomass conversion; microalgae for human - food, feed, fertilizer, and nutraceuticals, effluent treatment, carbon sequestration; water quality assessment and low-cost water solution for rural areas, solar based interventions and micropropagation of medicinal plants. Currently, he is mentoring individuals in science, technology and rural development programmes helping farmers and rural youth for better livelihoods through organic / regenerative agricultural practices and concentrating more on promoting and establishing collaborations in natural resource management, microbial technology, ecological regenerative agriculture, sustainable food system, entrepreneurship for development of interventions aimed towards rural areas. He is also part of the committee of Asian PGPR Society drafted the Policy Paper on "Regulation of Plant Growth Promoting Microorganisms" submitted to ICAR, Govt. of India during 2021.

Talk Overview
Approaches & Practices in Agriculture Impacting Civil Society - Redefining development through convergence and appropriateness

Agriculture sector is considered the backbone of the country’s economy as it provides livelihood for nearly half the country’s population. The majority is characterized by millions of marginal and small farmers who face difficulties to continue the high risk of farming due to small, fragmented landholdings, higher cost of cultivation, low institutional credits, increasing indebtedness of farmers, lack of adequate market linkages, climate change and natural disasters, natural enemies like pests and diseases, exploitation of farmers by various groups. Characterized by small and marginal farming and many with no other options than agriculture farmers in pockets suffer due to poor income that not only affects their livelihood but also their future is at stake as the immediate family also has to face the consequences. This leads to loss of lives in the farming sector also. The Government of India has been consistently coming out with policy measures to double the income of the farming community. To support the initiatives, there are many experiments / interventions tested all over the country through many platforms including research organizations, departments, NGO/CSOs, start-ups and even corporates engaged in agriculture related activities. India being diverse in agroclimatic regions, food habits, culture and practices, there is a need for identifying appropriateness of interventions / technologies to suit to the location and bringing meaningful convergence and collaborations to support the needy and bring in the desired changes in the rural areas. The technological and support interventions may include creation of robust rural infrastructure for improving the agricultural operations, stop post-harvest losses, water availability through restoration of the water bodies, improve the quality of rural roads and other agriculture related infrastructure, soil quality improvement, alternative promising quality agricultural inputs, increased credit mechanism to reach the last mile to support the agricultural working capital at affordable cost, R,D & E (Research Development and Extension) in agriculture to support to bridge the knowledge gap especially in helping them adopt integrated farming systems, frontier technologies like the use of decision support systems for effectively handling advanced machinery using Artificial Intelligence (AI), optimization of chemical fertilizers and pesticides use and on farm production and use of low-cost organic inputs, crop diversification moving from mono culture to mixed cropping systems, water use efficiency, farm associated income through improved livestock maintenance and help the farmers on the need for converging under a like-minded platform to get better benefits. This also requires concerted efforts to bring in controls to stop inflation and leakages in the supporting process.
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