First Manitoba-based researcher elected as Foreign Fellow to National Academy of Agricultural Sciences India
Dr. Digvir S. Jayas, Vice-President (Research) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba has earned an international reputation as a leading researcher in effective grain storage methods. The often referred to “leader of grain storage” has been elected as the 2011 Foreign Fellow into the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) India, for his outstanding contributions in the area of agricultural engineering and technology.
“Over the last two decades he has been recognized internationally for his research in understanding stored-grain ecosystems and the results of this research have helped in preserving grain for mankind,” says Dr. H.S. Chauhan, retired dean (PG Studies), GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India.
Jayas, the fifth researcher in Canada and the first Manitoban to receive this honour is a leader in carrying out interdisciplinary research. He has integrated the work of entomologists, agricultural engineers, and mathematicians into the development of new methods of measuring, analyzing, and modelling (mathematically) the properties of grains, and heat and mass transfer in grain during storage.
“I want to thank Dr. Chauhan for nominating me into the academy. It is a great honour to be the first Manitoba-based researcher to be elected as Foreign Fellow,” says Dr. Jayas, a graduate of the U of M himself (MSc/82).
Globally about 2 billion tonnes of grains, oilseeds, and pulses are produced annually and stored at different stages of the grain distribution chain between the producer and the consumer. The post-harvest losses for grains range from 1 per cent in some of the developed countries to 50 per cent in some of the less developed countries. Jayas’ research and development in grain preservation techniques has had significant impact on reducing grain losses and has garnered him the Foreign Fellowship.
Dr. Jayas demonstrated experimentally that the resistance to airflow through bulk grain in the horizontal direction is about 30 to 40 per cent of the resistance to airflow in the vertical direction. This has led to the development of a prototype grain dryer (in collaboration of AgGrowth Industries) which forces air horizontally and dries grain more evenly and efficiently. The dryer also uses a fan which is one-half in capacity than a traditional vertical airflow dryer, thus reducing energy consumption for grain drying.
Jayas has not only helped the scientific community throughout his research career but also the grain economy in several countries. The tools and techniques developed by his research program have positively impacted grain storage, handling and safety around the world.
The number of elected foreign fellows is limited to two in each successive year. Dr. Jayas, along with Dr. Tuteja, Senior Scientist, Plant Molecular Biology Group, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India, will be formally inducted on January 1, 2011.
NAAS, established in 1990, has a vision to gain recognition as a credible “Think Tank” to provide views of the scientific community on all agriculture-related policy issues, to encourage talent and promote excellence in science, making it a powerful instrument for the growth of national economy with a vibrant farm sector. As of 2010 the academy has a total of 497 fellows, which includes 45 Foreign Fellows and one Corporate Fellow.
For more information, please contact Melni Ghattora, research communications & marketing officer, University of Manitoba, at 204-474-9020.