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: India, Switzerland, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.
This year’s laureates, John Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana from 2001 to 2009, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, will receive the World Food Prize, in October at the Iowa State Capitol, for implementing policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries.
During both his terms in office, President Kufuor sought to improve his country's food security and reduce poverty through public and private sector initiatives. He implemented major economic and educational policies that increased the quality and quantity of food to Ghanaians; enhanced farmers’ incomes; and improved school attendance and child nutrition. Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to halve the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, and the proportion of people living on less than a dollar per day.
Even before he took office, President Lula da Silva made defeating hunger and poverty a top priority. He set a goal to ensure that all Brazilians eat three meals a day; to alleviate poverty; to enhance educational opportunities for children; and to increase inclusion of the poor in society. During his presidency, Brazil reduced its proportion of the hungry by half, and also significantly reduced the percentage of Brazilians living in extreme poverty.
Upon receiving the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, Norman Borlaug said, "World peace will not be built on empty stomachs or human misery. It is within [our] technical and financial power to help end this human tragedy and injustice, if we set our hearts and minds to this task." Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have done just that.