Dr. M. Anandaraj was born on 5 March 1954 in Karnataka. He obtained his Masters degree from the University of Mysore and Ph.D from University of Calicut. Dr. Anandaraj joined ICAR in 1978 as scientist and since then he has been serving the Council in various capacities and further rose to the capacity of Director of Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode (Calicut). He was also the National Coordinator of the ICAR Outreach Project on “Phytophthora, Fusarium and Ralstonia diseases of horticultural and field crops” that is being run in 16 ICAR institutes and a Horticultural University.
Presently the Chairman of R&D committee of International Pepper Community (IPC) Jakarta, Indonesia that is an intergovernmental Organization of pepper producing countries established in 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).
He is well known for his contributions on epidemiology and management of Phytophthora foot rot disease of black pepper and his pioneering work on biological control of Phytophthora. He played a key role in developing Phytophthora tolerant black pepper variety IISR Shakthi. His work on Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria with special reference to the mechanisms involved in their action and factors affecting their efficacy, have culminated in the development of PGPR formulations that markedly enhance yield in spices especially black pepper, ginger and seed spices. The formulations Biopower G for ginger and Biomix Bp for black pepper are being commercialized. The technology to deliver PGPR in the seeds of seed spices is being patented for large scale adoption.
To his credit he has over 250 publications besides 19 books/monographs/chapters. He also served as Editor of six books on spices and has also contributed chapters for UNESCO- EOLSS (Encyclopedia of life support system). Dr. Anandaraj has guided 5 Ph.D and 16 M.Sc students. He represented India in International Pepper Community, Jakarta, and has been empanelled as a member to draft Good Agricultural Practices for black pepper.
As the Project Coordinator of the All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices (AICRPS) for over six years with its vast network of 34 centres located in different agro-climatic zones of the country distributed in 21 states and Agricultural Universities of India, he has contributed immensely.
He is recipient of Dr. J.S. Pruthi Award (three times) and Dr. C.S. Venkat Ram Award, UGC- CEC Subject expert Award in Life Sciences 2005, Dr. Anandaraj was also President of Indian Society for Spices and Indian Phytopathological Society and Fellow of National Academy of Biological Sciences, Indian Phytopathological Society, Indian Society for Spices, Indian Society for Plantation Crops, Indian Society for Seed Spices, Society for Advancement of Biological Control and Fellow of Confederation of Horticultural Association of India. He has also served in the executive committee of Indian Society for Plantation Crops.