• Indian-American soil scientist Rattan Lal has been named this year’s recipient of the World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.
• The World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
• It recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply such as plant, animal and soil science; nutrition; rural development; marketing; food processing and packaging; water and the environment; physical infrastructure; policy analysis etc.
• The prize is open to every individual without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs.
• World Food Prize Foundation, with various sponsor companies.
• The prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in global agriculture. The Prize was created in 1986 and was first awarded in 1987 with M. S. Swaminathan of India being the first recipient.
• The annual award is presented each October on or around UN World Food Day (October 16).
• In addition to the cash award of $250,000, the Laureate receives a sculpture designed by the noted artist and designer, Saul Bass.
• Rattan Lal, a native of India and a citizen of the United States, serves as Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and founding Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University (OSU).
• S. Swaminathan (1987); Verghese Kurien (1989); Gurdev Khush (1996); B. R. Barwale (1998); Surinder K. Vasal (2000); Modadugu Vijay Gupta (2005) and Sanjaya Rajaram (2014).
Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: World Food Prize 2020
Mains level: Highlights about the award and its parameters