Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Hunger crusader Norman Borlaug passes away

(image Source: scidevnet)
Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, renowned for his commitment to fighting hunger in the developing world, has died at the age of 95 on 12 September 2009.
 A highly respected wheat scientist and rightly regarded as the father of the Green Revolution during the period between 1960 and 1990 when food production quadrupled in India and Pakistan and more than doubled around the rest of the world. Working in Mexico in the 1950s Borlaug and his team created disease-resistant, high-yielding wheat varieties — now grown throughout the world — and developed improved farming methods. Their work is seen by many as instrumental in saving millions of people from hungerand paved the way for science-based agriculture in developing countries.
According to Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, another leading agricultural scientist of the Subcontinent Norman Borlaug was a man of extraordinary humanism, commitment to a hunger-free world and knew no nationality. According to him Borlaug is the greatest hunger-fighter of all time whose s contribution was multidimensional — scientific, political and humanistic. Borlaug won a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting hunger. Presenting him with the prize in 1970, Nobel Committee chairman Aase Lionaes said: "More than any other single person of his age, he has helped to provide bread for a hungry world". Borlaug played a key role in launching the World Food Prize in 1986 — now considered the Nobel Prize for food and agriculture. That same year, Borlaug — together with then-US president Jimmy Carter and the Nippon Foundation of Japan — established an agricultural programme for Africa. Since its inception, Sasakawa-Global 2000 has fostered the transfer of agricultural technologies to millions of small farmers.

Thomas Lumpkin, director general of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), said in a statement: "Today we stand bereft of Borlaug's physical presence, but not of his spirit or ideals. Norm once said: 'I personally cannot live comfortably in the midst of abject hunger and poverty and human misery.' Millions of small-scale farmers in developing countries today still practise low-input, subsistence agriculture, condemning them and their families to lives of poverty ... The world cannot be at peace until these people are helped to feed themselves and escape poverty."

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