AsianScientist (Jun 26, 2014) – Indian plant scientist Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram has been named named winner of the 2014 World Food Prize. His research has helped increase world wheat production by more than 200 million tons in the years following the Green Revolution, leaving a far-reaching impact on alleviating world hunger.
Dr. Rajaram’s breakthrough in successfully cross breeding winter and spring wheat varieties, which were distinct gene pools that had been isolated from one another for hundreds of years, led to his developing plants that have higher yields and a broad genetic base. More than 480 high-yielding wheat varieties bred by Dr. Rajaram have been released in 51 countries on six continents and have been widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike. Dr. Rajaram led the Wheat Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center from 1976 to 2001, taking over from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug.
World Food Prize Foundation President and former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Mr. Kenneth M. Quinn said, “The 2014 World Food Prize Laureate is an individual who worked closely with Dr. Borlaug in Mexico and who then carried forward and extended his work, breaking new ground with his own achievements. As we celebrate the United Nations International Year of Family Farming, it is most fitting that the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate is an individual who has truly fulfilled Dr. Borlaug’s last words: ‘Take it to the farmer.’”
This year marks the 28th anniversary of the US$250,000 World Food Prize, which recognizes individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
Source: US Department of State.
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