Earlier this month, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman of BRAC, was awarded the 2015 World Food Prize, which honours contributions to the improvement of food supply. BRAC (formally Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) is the largest development organisation in the world and has been working to enhance food security and alleviate poverty since it was founded by Sir Fazle in 1972. For over 40 years, BRAC, which operates in 11 countries around the world, has implemented a range of development programmes that have benefited nearly 150 million people. Sir Fazle (pictured, left) has applauded these people as “the real heroes” in the BRAC story. Continue reading
This week, the President of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn announced that Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram has been selected as the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate for his contribution to improving wheat yields. Dr. Rajaram’s work on crossing winter and spring wheat varieties resulted in an impressive 480 wheat varieties which have been released in 51 countries on six continents and benefited countless farmers and consumers around the world.
The most prestigious prize in food and agriculture, the World Food Prize, has this year been awarded to three scientists, Belgian Marc Van Montagu and Americans Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley for their work on agricultural biotechnology. These scientists have all worked on different projects with one goal in mind: to develop better crops in order to increase yields and reduce losses. These include crops resistant to pests and diseases, crops that can grow in extreme environmental conditions and ultimately, crops with higher yields.This is all possible with the developments that these scientists have made in biotechnology and the crop varieties produced as a result. Today, biotech crops make up about 12% of the world’s arable land, with just over half of this 12% being in developing countries. The major commercial biotech crops are maize, soybeans, rapeseed and cotton but many more food crops have been developed using this technology.
This year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue concluded on Friday with a breakfast address from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, highlighting the importance of food security to global prosperity. The Secretary General’s attendance was an indicator of the importance of food security on the international agenda. He summed up the conference simply: that “no parent should have to choose which child to feed”. This simple message, of real people, was at the heart of many of the presentations and discussions at this year’s Borlaug Dialogue. Continue reading
Today, the 16th October, is World Food Day. In today’s context of rising food insecurity, the timing could not be more fitting. This week global agricultural leaders will gather in Des Moines, Iowa for the World Food Prize & The Borlaug Dialogue. The World Food Prize will be awarded on Thursday 18th October to Dr. Daniel Hillel, whose work developing micro-irrigation techniques has helped feed millions around the world. Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General,will be speaking at the award ceremony. Continue reading