Mano Dutta Pathak (85) passed away peacefully at home on November 6, 2019. Born in 1934, in Sultanpur, U.P., India, Mano lived in several countries, and worked and raised his family in the Philippines.
A distinguished alumnus of Kansas State University (PhD, 1958), Mano was an internationally-acclaimed scientist dedicated to improving crop production and agricultural education to eradicate hunger and poverty in the developing world. His research benefited millions of poor farmers around the world via two major accomplishments: the development of IR20, once one of the most widely grown rice varieties in the world, which was resistant to many insect pests & diseases and drastically reduced the need for chemical pesticides (Mano has been called the father of host plant resistance in rice); and developing low cost organic means for reclaiming sodic wastelands for agricultural production. Under his leadership at the International Rice Research Institute and the Uttar Pradesh Council of Agricultural Research, tens of thousands of professionals worldwide were trained in various aspects of agricultural production, many of whom are now also in senior leadership positions.
Deeply religious and motivated by his faith, Mano was a kind and generous man who participated in many philanthropic activities. His book “Vedic Gyan Vigyan” (Science & Wisdom of the Vedas) brought together his deepest interests. Closest to his heart were the schools he built and scholarships he provided to children in need. He believed in the good in people and never hesitated to give them a second chance. Above all, Mano was a man of faith, with great love for his family, almost obsessively dedicated to uplifting the welfare of the helpless and the poor.
Mano was preceded in death by his wife, Durga Pathak, and an infant son. He is survived by his daughters Kiran (Ram) Misra of Erie, PA; Renu (Paul) Miles of Tracy, CA; Shashi Pathak (Trevor L. Rees) of O’Fallon, MO; grandchildren, Rajeev (Emily) Misra, Sunil (Lekshmi) Misra, Asha Miles, Dev Miles, Jai Miles, Mira Miles; and 5 great-grandchildren.
Donations may be sent to SSM Hospice Foundation (www.ssmhealth.com/donate/hospice-home-health-foundation) or the Asia Rice Foundation, USA (www.asiariceusa.org) which provides scholarships to US-based university students studying rice related agriculture.