UNH logo
Radhika Bartaula

Guest Commentary - I'm A Young AG Scientist, And This Is My Story

In today’s Golden Age of agricultural science and technology, we hear about major breakthroughs that would have felt like magic only half a century ago: genetically modified organisms, crop-monitoring drones, CRISPR/Cas9 (which can edit our own DNA!), robots that weed, remote-controlled tractors, and many more. We have seen remarkable technological advancements in agriculture in many places in the world, resulting in increased productivity and improved food safety. Yet still millions of people suffer from hunger and billions are struggling with malnutrition. There lies an enormous task before all of us to make these awesome technologies deliver food security and nutrition for all.

I have always been drawn to agriculture because I was born into a farming family in rural Nepal. Agriculture is my family’s main occupation and chief source of income. Farming has had great personal meaning to me since my childhood. Seeing how my family, as well as many others, struggled with uncertain income from our harvests and the numerous forms of insecurity that brings, I always dreamed of how I might empower resource-poor farming communities in developing nations. To equip myself for this work, I decided to study agriculture science for my undergraduate degree. My parents were sad that I chose agriculture instead of engineering or medicine. They were worried that I was going to turn out to be a farmer like them, and they wanted much more for me. But I think they later realized that there is so much more to agricultural studies than farming. So I obtained B.Sc. in Agriculture from Tribhuwan University in Nepal. My interest in plant breeding and genetics started when I was exposed to the historic contributions and broad potential of genetics in agriculture. Inspired in particular by the life and work of Dr. Norman Borlaug, I became passionate about the role that plant breeding has played and will continue to play in feeding our ever-increasing human population and fulfilling their other needs in the 21st century ...

Above excerpt taken from blog post, Guest Commentary - I'm A Young AG Scientist, And This Is My Story

To read the rest of the article please visit the Global Food for Thought Blog and the guest commentary post written by Radhika Bartaula, PhD candidate, University of New Hampshire.