Mr. Anil Kumar Sinha’s name is synonymous with CARDI, the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute he served for 34 years as an agricultural scientist, first in Guyana for a year and then the agriculture sector of Belize from 1983 until his sudden death on 20 February 2016. He was appointed the country representative for CARDI in 1989 and served as the CARDI representative on many technical and advisory boards, including the Pesticide Control Board as chairman. What a legacy he has left! His stewardship and accomplishments advanced Belizean agriculture far more than his breeding and development of cereals and grain legumes adaptable to the tropics. His efforts at partnering with other organizations, countries and Belizean farming communities for the conduct of numerous projects enriched agricultural pursuits in the entire Caribbean region. The list of his accomplishments below, obtained from CARDI, also does not include his personal dedication to solving problems for individual farmers, his tireless effort to mentor his staff, his willingness to offer advice in his own quiet, humble way, nor attendance at endless meetings to share his valuable insights and considerable experience in agriculture, climate change, and natural resources management.
- Development of post-production technologies for the harvesting, drying and storage of cereals and grain legumes
- Development of a testing and certification system for red kidney beans, which laid the foundation for the export of this commodity from Belize to the Caribbean community (CARICOM)
- Initiation and development of the CARDI 70 rice variety, one of the varieties cultivated in Belize in the early 1990’s that led to the country’s self-sufficiency in rice production
- Annual evaluation, development and maintenance of a seed bank for commercial varieties of soy beans, corn, red kidney beans, peanuts and rice. This effort enabled CARDI to supply seeds to Haiti and Dominica in the post disaster recovery in those countries.
- Publication of more than 40 technical papers and books
Mr. Sinha earned tremendous respect among his colleagues, staff and individuals who had the pleasure of knowing him and his personable ways. His vast contribution to the agriculture sector in the Caribbean region was recognized in 2009 when he was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Excellence. As Mr. Barton Clarke, Executive Director of CARDI stated, “Anil’s life and work can be perfectly summed up with the quote, ‘be pure, be true, be helpful, be attentive and be reverent’.”