In 1986, Norman Borlaug, an agronomist and Nobel Laureate who is widely recognized as the "father of the Green Revolution," established the World Food Prize. It is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
Candidates for the prize may be involved in any segment of the food supply chain: the science and technology of food and agriculture; manufacturing or marketing; nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation and food security; even political leadership. Past winners have come from all over the world: the first, in 1987, was from India, last year's winner is Ethiopian.
For the first time, the World Food Prize has recognized the work of non-governmental organizations. This year, the winners are Ms. Jo Luck of Heifer International and Dr. David Beckmann of Bread for the World. They will share the 250 thousand dollar prize.
Heifer International donates livestock large and small, from honeybees and chickens to cows and water buffalo, to poor farmers in fifty countries, and trains them in animal husbandry and sustainable agriculture. In return, each family agrees to pass as a gift one of the donated animal’s offspring to another needy family. The hope is that eventually, the entire community will become self-sustaining. For the past 20 years, Jo Luck was Heifer International's Chief Operating Officer, and although she recently stepped down, she still remains as the organization's President.
Bread for the World is a U.S. Christian citizens' movement to end hunger. The organization works by urging political leaders and influential people to end hunger by changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist. They do so by organizing people, both religious and non-religious, to pressure political leaders, through writing letters, calling and visiting them, into supporting measures to improve the lives of the poor.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated winners of the 2010 World Food Prize in a ceremony at the State Department. In recognizing the winners, she, together with US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, pledged to increase U.S. investment in research that prioritizes advancing agricultural productivity, transforms production systems, and enhances nutrition and food safety.