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GHI Congratulates the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates
Hunger, food security and harnessing the science to improve our global resources are among the most pressing matters of our time. New estimates show the global population growing to 9 billion by 2050, and currently 1 in 8 people are hungry. The World Food Prize recognizes and inspires breakthrough achievements in food and agriculture and strives to shine a spotlight on those making a difference in food security for people around the globe.
The 2013 World Food Prize Laureates include three distinguished scientists sharing the prize for their achievements in discovering the key to plant cell transformation using recombinant DNA. Dr. Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Drs Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert T. Fraley of the U.S. have been selected for their independent, individual breakthrough achievements in founding, developing, and applying modern agricultural biotechnology. On June 19 in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, announced the names of the 2013 Laureates. The $250,000 prize, sometimes referred to as “the Nobel Prize for food and agriculture,” is the foremost international award for recognizing those who have enhanced human development by improving quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
The Laureates’ research is making it possible for farmers to grow crops with improved yields, resistance to insects and disease, and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate.
Following the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry served as the keynote speaker. “The challenge is beyond what we face today. By 2050, the world’s population is going to grow to be 9 billion. That is going to demand at least a 60 percent increase over our current agricultural production,” Sec. Kerry said, recognizing the Laureates’ contributions as necessary to overcome the future obstacles of ensuring global food security.
At the announcement event, Ambassador Quinn also announced the theme of the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue: “The Next Borlaug Century: Biotechnology, Sustainability and Climate Volatility.” The event will take place from October 16-19, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa.