World Food Prize
|World Food Prize|
|Awarded for||Outstanding achievement in advancement of human development through improved food quality, quantity, or availability|
|Location||Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Presented by||World Food Prize Foundation, with various sponsor companies|
The World Food Prize is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. It is notably sponsored by agricultural biotechnology companies. Since 1987, the prize has been awarded annually to recognize contributions in any field involved in the world food supply: food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership, and the social sciences.
Conceived by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, the prize emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. Borlaug saw the prize as a means of establishing role models who would inspire others.
In 1985, Borlaug met with the chief executive of General Foods Corporation, James Fergusen. Norman Borlaug presented his long standing desire for the establishment of a major prize for agriculture. The idea of a prize was met favourably by the Senior General Foods Management, but they expanded the scope of the prize to include all of the links of the food chain - from farm to table. General Foods Corporation organized a prize management structure and in 1986 announced the founding of the General Foods World Food Prize. This prize was funded solely by the General Foods Fund for the first four years of its existence, and partially funded by the General Foods Fund and other contributors in the fifth year.
Since 1990, the World Food Prize has been sponsored by businessman and philanthropist, John Ruan.
Laureates are honoured and officially awarded their prize in Des Moines, Iowa, in a televised award ceremony held in the House Chamber of the Iowa State Capitol. The Award Ceremony coincides with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, known as the Borlaug Dialogue, which addresses an issue related to hunger and food security each year. Past symposia have focused on the promises and challenges presented by biofuels for global development, the dual challenges of malnutrition and obesity, water insecurity and its impact on development and stability in the Middle East, and "The Green Revolution Redux: Can We Replicate the Single Greatest Period of Hunger Reduction in All Human History?".
In 2008, the World Food Prize Foundation accepted a $5 million contribution from Monsanto to ensure the continuation of the annual World Food Prize International Symposium "Borlaug Dialogue". The funds supported a renewed fundraising campaign to transform the historic and former central Des Moines Public Library building into a public museum, the Hall of Laureates, to honour Norman Borlaug and the work of the World Food Prize laureates.
The 2013 Borlaug Dialogue will be held 16–19 October 2013.
The World Food Prize is also sponsored by agricultural biotechnology companies: Nestlé, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Syngenta, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, DuPont Pioneer. In 2008 alone, Monsanto gave five millions of dollars to the World Food Prize. The prize is also sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The World Food Prize laureates are formally honoured at the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony annually on or near the World Food Day (16 October). The winners receive 250,000 United States dollar.
The announcement of the World Food Prize laureates is made in the late spring or early summer prior to her or his formal recognition in October.
|2013||Dr Mary-Dell Chilton,
Dr Robert Fraley,
Dr Marc Van Montagu
| United States
|Developed science of modern plant biotechnology supporting improved sustainability and global food security|
|2012||Dr Daniel Hillel||Israel||Conceiving and implementing micro-irrigation in arid and dry land regions|
|2011||John Agyekum Kufuor
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
|Creating and implementing government policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries|
|United States||Building Bread for the World and Heifer International into two of the world's foremost grassroots organizations leading the charge to end hunger and poverty around the globe.|
|2009||Gebisa Ejeta||Ethiopia||Developing Africa's first sorghum hybrids resistant to drought and the parasitic witchweed.|
|United States||Leading and encouraging a global commitment to school feeding, which has enhanced school attendance and nutrition for millions of the world's poorest children, especially young women and girls.|
|2007||Dr Philip E. Nelson||United States||Revolutionizing food processing, packaging, transportation, and distribution by perfecting bulk aseptic packaging technology and spreading the technology worldwide.|
His Excellency Alysson Paolinelli,
Dr A. Colin McClung
|Pioneering work in soil science and policy implementation that opened the vast Cerrado region of Brazil to agricultural and food production.|
|2005||Dr Modadugu Vijay Gupta||India||Development and dissemination of low-cost techniques for freshwater fish farming (using tilapia species) by the rural poor.|
|2004||Prof. Yuan Longping||China||Development of hybrid rice varieties|
|Dr Monty Jones||Sierra Leone||Development of New Rice for Africa (NERICA), with the potential to increase rice yields in Africa.|
|2003||Catherine Bertini|| United States /
|Transforming the World Food Programme from a development assistance program to the largest and most effective humanitarian food relief organization|
|2002||Dr Pedro Sanchez|| United States /
|Development of methods to restore fertility to degraded soils in Africa and South America.|
|2001||Dr Per Pinstrup-Andersen||Denmark||Establishment of "Food For Education" programs in which families receive food subsidies when children stay in school.|
|2000||Dr Evangelina Villegas,
Dr Surinder K. Vasal
|Developing high quality protein maize (QPM).|
|1999||Dr Walter Plowright||United Kingdom||Developing a vaccine against the cattle plague rinderpest.|
|1998||Dr B. R. Barwale||India||Founder of independent seed company Mahyco, strengthening seed supply and distribution throughout India.|
|1997||Dr Ray F. Smith,
Dr Perry Adkisson
| United States
|Developing the concept of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which employs various techniques to protect crops from insect damage in an environmentally sustainable manner.|
|1996||Dr Henry Beachell,
Dr Gurdev Khush
| United States
|Developing "miracle rice" varieties that doubled rice production in Asia since their development.|
|1995||Dr Hans Rudolf Herren||Switzerland||Developing a pest control program for the cassava mealybug, which could destroy African cassava crop.|
|1994||Dr Muhammad Yunus||Bangladesh||Founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, developed innovative small loan programs for the poor, providing millions of people access to more food and better nutrition.|
|1993||His Excellency He Kang||China||Initiation of reforms while head of the Ministry of Agriculture which made China self-sufficient for food production.|
|1992||Dr Edward F. Knipling,
Dr Raymond C. Bushland
| United States
|Developing the sterile insect technique (SIT) to control insect parasites that harm the world's food supply.|
|1991||Dr Nevin S. Scrimshaw||United States||Human nutrition studies that led to the use of protein-rich food products to combat malnutrition in developing countries.|
|1990||Dr John Niederhauser||United States||Discovering a durable resistance to potato late blight.|
|1989||Dr Verghese Kurien||India||Founder of Operation Flood the largest agricultural development program in the world made the farmer the owner of his cooperative, cutting out middlemen. India emerged as the largest producer of milk in 1998 from milk scarcity when he started.|
|1988||Dr Robert F. Chandler||United States||Founding leadership of the International Rice Research Institute and his dedication to developing tropical rice varieties that doubled and tripled the yields of traditional varieties.|
|1987||Prof. M. S. Swaminathan||India||Introducing high-yielding wheat and rice varieties to India starting India's Green Revolution.|
Hall of Laureates
The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates is located in the former Central Library on the Principal Riverwalk in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, which was constructed in the early 1900s as part of the City Beautiful movement.
The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates honours the dreams of Dr Norman Borlaug, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and founder of the World Food Prize, as well as those of John Ruan, an iconic Des Moines businessman. John Ruan envisioned Des Moines as the "food capital of the world", and had advocated for a World Trade Center to be built in the city in the 1980s. Such a centre was never built, but Ruan's endowment of the World Food Prize in 1990 set in motion a goal to secure a home for such an organization. John Ruan III began the fundraising efforts with a donation of five millions of dollars from his family in 2001. Ten years and 30 million of dollars later, the renovation was finished in time for the 25th anniversary of the World Food Prize. The original staircase to the east entrance had been removed in 1955 but was restored during the renovation. Also restored was the acroterium which had been destroyed in the mid-1930s.
A significant portion of project funding was devoted to commissioning dozens of pieces of artwork by artists from Iowa and around the world to be displayed in the building. In addition, a new fountain and statues of John Ruan and Norman Borlaug can be found in the gardens on the west side of the building.
The Borlaug-Ruan International Internship provides high school students an opportunity for an eight-week hands-on experience, working with world-renowned scientists and policy makers at leading research centres around the world.
The internship was founded in 1994 and has funded over one hundred Borlaug-Ruan interns who have travelled to Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Trinidad.
Iowa Hunger Summit
The Iowa Hunger Summit has taken place during the week of the World Food Prize events since 2007. The event celebrates the role Iowans play in fighting hunger and advancing food security each year. The activities are open to the public and aim to encourage interaction among leaders in the community, government, schools, places of worship, and organizations.
Notes and references
- (French) Catherine Morand, "Le prix mondial de l'alimentation à Monsanto et Syngenta ? Une farce", www.letemps.ch, 16 October 2013 (page visited on 16 October 2013).
- Mary-Dell Chilton is a founding member of Syngenta.
- Robert Fraley is from Monsanto.
- Marc Van Montagu is president of the European Federation of Biotechnology.
- World Food Prize honors biotech pioneers, World Food Prize press release, June 18, 2013.
- , "Ruan Family's Vision Realized with Hall of Laureates Opening".
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/world-food-prize-event-in-iowa-confronts-divisive-issues-of-biotech-crops-and-global-warming/2013/10/15/8ed1c2b4-35c7-11e3-89db-8002ba99b894_story.html (page visited on 17 October 2013).
- A. S. Clausi, online article on Institute of Food Technologists website about the creation and history of the World Food Prize (members only), accessed on 24 October 2009.
- A. S. Clausi, "General Foods established World Food Prize", Food Technology, October 2009, p. 79.