Dr. Prem Nath is the founder of the PNAS Foundation established in 2000. Dr. Nath obtained his Ph.D. degree in Horticulture from the Kansas State University in U.S.A. during 1962. The same year, he returned to India and served at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (New Delhi), University of Udaipur (Rajasthan), Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (Bangalore) for about 15 years before joining the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) during 1976 and served in different capacities in a number of countries, like Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen Arab Republic, Italy, Myanmar, and Thailand for about 25 years, with the last posting as FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific and headed FAO Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand from where he retired in 2000. Even after his retirement with the FAO, Dr. Nath continues his activities on issues of food and agriculture/ horticulture through the Dr. Prem Nath Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF) to which he has donated his life-savings.
The vegetable varieties developed by him and his colleagues are still popular in India and abroad. Dr. Nath made significant achievements in developing a number of vegetable varieties viz Arka Suryamakhi in pumpkin, Arka Sheel and Arka Kusumkar in brinjal, Arka Manik and Arka Jyoti in watermelon, Arka Harit in bitter gourd, Arka Rajhans and Arka Jeet in musk melon, and Arka Tinda in roundmelon in India. He guided researches on cucurbits for a number of M.Sc and PhD students.
In 1965, Dr. Nath authored the book entitled ‘Cucurbitaceous Crops in Northern India’ published by the University of Udaipur. Among several publications, the book on ‘Vegetable Crops for the Tropical Region’ published by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, in 1976 and 1987 and reprinted in 1994 and 2004 are still popular among the Agricultural Universities in India. The book entitled “Food Security and Vegetables – A Global Perspective” co-edited by him and published by the PNASF in 2004 and written by the well-known national and international author’s acclaimed high recognition nationally and world-wide. He is also a co-author of the book –“State of the Indian Farmer: A Millennium Study” published in 2004 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India. He is the senior author of the book entitled “Vegetable Crops-Improvement and Production” published by PNASF, Bangalore during 2008; co-author of the book entitled “Foods and Nutrition” published by PNASF, Bangalore and Studium Press, New Delhi during 2009. Dr. Nath has hundreds of publications and technical reports published in India and abroad.
Dr. Prem Nath has the credit of establishing horticultural/agricultural research institutes in India, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and of guiding horticulture research programmes in Africa, near East, Asia and East European countries. In 1994, he was responsible for launching successfully the FAO’s Special Programme on Food Security for Low-Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDC’s) across the globe.
Presently, Dr. Prem Nath is the Chairman of the Dr. Prem Nath Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF), Bangalore – 560 094. Also, he is the Chairperson of the Vegetable Science International Network (VEGINET), Bangalore. As a Chairman of the Organizing Council of the International Conference on Vegetables (ICV-2002), he successfully organized the Conference held during November 2002 at Bangalore. He organized FAO/PNASF International Workshop on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for Asian Countries during June 29 to July 2, 2005 in Bangalore, India; and International Conference on Horticulture (ICH-2009) held during November 9-12, 2009, Bangalore, India; where about 750 delegates from about 40 countries participated. He served as the Chairman of the WTO Cell, Government of Karnataka and as the member of the various committees in food and agriculture at the state, national and international levels. He is the Fellow of a number of national and international professional societies/ academy in Horticulture and Agriculture.