The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1986, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.
Nominations are underway until May 1 for the 2013 prize, which will be announced in October at the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moins, Iowa. So, who would you nominate?
The prize has been given to a scientist, two former presidents, and anti-hunger advocates, among others.
In 2012, Dr. Daniel Hillel won for his work on pioneering the practice of micro-irrigation, a system that gives deserts access to irrigation for crops, particularly in Israel, where Dr, Hillel is from, and other Middle Eastern nations. Instead of flooding the land with water and then waiting long periods between subsequent floodings, micro-irrigation instead provides crops with frequent or continuous doses of small amounts of water—basically drip irrigation on a much larger scale. While the practice was originally developed for desert areas in Africa and the Middle East, farmers in the U.S., Mexico, and other parts of the world are adopting the practice as droughts threaten crops.
In 2011, John Agyekum Kufuor, the former President of Ghana, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, then-President of Brazil, were jointly given the award for their respective work in combating hunger and poverty from their positions in government. Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, and President Kufuor revolutionized the country’s agriculture through government programs that taught modern best practices to cocoa farmers. President Lula da Silva formed the Zero Hunger Project, which catalyzed public and private efforts to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in Brazil.
In 2010 the award was also shared between David Beckmann, founder of Bread for the World, and Jo Luck, founder of Heifer International. Both of their organizations perform invaluable work in addressing hunger and food security on a global level.