Dr Modudunga Vijay Gupta
August 2015: Dr. Modudunga Vijay Gupta, Indian agriculture scientist was recently awarded the first Sunhak Peace Prize which he shared with the President of Kiribati Islands Anote Tong.
Dr Gupta has done great work in aquaculture in India, Bangladesh and several Southeast Asian countries.
Mr Gupta, 76, shared the USD 1 million prize with President of Kiribati Islands Anote Tong in Seoul.
Billed as an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize, the awards were presented by South Korean religious leader Dr Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of late Rev Sun Myung Moon, who instituted the awards to recognise and highlight the work of individuals making big efforts for the betterment of the people.
Hailing from Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Gupta, a biologist, was also the recipient of the World Food Prize in 2005 for development and dissemination of low-cost techniques for freshwater fish farming.
Before his retirement, he served as the Assistant Director General at WorldFish, an international fisheries research institute under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) based in Penang, Malaysia.
Starting his career as a scientist in Indian Council Agriculture Research over three decades ago in Kolkata, Mr Gupta worked in Laos, Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand pursuing his belief that the aqua technology which can provide food security and improve livelihoods of rural poor.
“I believed throughout my career that all the advanced fish farming technology which we created in laboratories should be taken to people, then only it can make a difference to their lives,” said Mr. Gupta.
“There can be no peace without food security in the world. You cannot talk peace to a hungry man,” he added.
Regarded as a rebel within the ranks of the agricultural scientist community in India, Mr Gupta mostly worked with the UN and agriculture related international organisations in different countries.