Wheat Scientist Awarded World Food Prize
Bread for the World is joining the anti-hunger movement in congratulating wheat breeder Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram as this year’s World Food Prize laureate.
Rajaram was named the 2014 laureate this morning at a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, D.C., where Secretary of State John Kerry gave keynote remarks.
The award is known as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” It’s given annually to a person who has worked to improve the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.
“When you do the math, when our planet needs to support two billion more people in the next three decades, it’s not hard to figure out: This is the time for a second green revolution,” Kerry said. “That’s why Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram is being honored with the World Food Prize. We are grateful for the hundreds of new species of wheat Dr. Rajaram developed, which deliver 200 million more tons of grain to global markets each year and feed millions across the world.”
Born in India and a citizen of Mexico, Rajaram is being honored for his work in creating more than 480 varieties of bread wheat that are grown in 51 countries. Both small and large-scale farmers around the world have benefitted from Rajaram’s work with high-yielding wheat. Rajaram conducted the majority of his research in Mexico at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). His work there led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production – by more than 200 million tons during the 25-year-period known as the “golden years of wheat” – building upon the successes of the Green Revolution.
Rajaram is a protégé of Dr. Norman Borlaug, who in 1987 created the prize that Rajaram received today. Borlaug, who would have turned 100 years old this year, was a board member of Bread for the World.
Bread for the World’s president, Rev. David Beckmann, received the World Food Prize in 2010.
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