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Meet Anil, an Entomologist who is dedicated to his research on insects and helping farmers produce better harvests. We sat down with Anil to talk about his research, how his work impacts farmers and how he began working in agriculture.
What do you do?
I work on discovering safe and sustainable ways to manage insects; study resistance mechanisms and develop strategies to delay resistance. Also helping farmers manage pests and increase crop yields through developing new technologies
What is your educational background?
I did my Masters in Entomology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and PHd in Entomology (Auburn University)
How do your personal beliefs on food and nutrition affect your work?
I believe everyone should be able to access nutritious food in sufficient quantities to live a happy healthy life. However, currently farmers lose a lot of their crops to a number of pests including insects. Therefore, my work focuses on developing sustainable solutions to manage insects.
What are your goals in life and your work at Monsanto?
My goal in life is to be a good human being and a scientist. At work, my goal is to solve insect issues that farmers have on their farms.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I grew up growing rice, millets, vegetables and other crops on our small farm in Southern India. I have worked on all aspects of farming operations including land preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting, and have seen how devastating insects can be and how hard it is to control them. At Monsanto, we are developing technologies that may reduce the number of insecticidal applications needed to control insects on crops. This will result in growing crops more sustainably.
Why did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
Growing up I worked on my family’s farm cultivating a number of crops and rearing silkworms. Because of this experience, I saw the challenges farmers face and wanted to help in any way I can. So, I selected a degree program in Agriculture and eventually earned my Masters in Entomology. Immediately after graduating, I started working at Monsanto Research Center-Bangalore, India, and realized with an advanced degree in Entomology, I would be better able to contribute to discovering sustainable ways to control insects. This idea brought me to the United States for a Ph.D. degree and eventually to Monsanto.
How does your position contribute to helping feed a growing world?
My team at Monsanto focuses on developing sustainable ways to control insects which will help in producing enough food to meet the needs of a growing world.