IITA alumnus named 2020 World Food Prize Laureate!
The World Food Prize Foundation, on 11 June, announced leading soil scientist and IITA alumnus Dr Rattan Lal, as the 50th World Food Prize Laureate. The Foundation’s Selection Committee chose Dr Lal for “developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production while conserving natural resources and mitigating climate change.” World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson announced the selection in a pre-recorded Laureate Announcement Ceremony, which featured remarks from the U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“Dr Lal is a trailblazer in soil science with a prodigious passion for research that improves soil health, enhances agricultural production, improves the nutritional quality of food, restores the environment and mitigates climate change,” said Stinson. “His decades of work to address all of these elements fully warrants his recognition as the 50th World Food Prize Laureate.”
Growing up on a small subsistence farm as a refugee in northern India, Lal’s determination to learn led him to excel in school, propelling him to become one of the world’s most prominent soil scientists. His pioneering research on the restoration of soil health in Africa, Asia, and Latin America led to revelations that impacted agricultural yields, natural resource conservation, and climate change mitigation. The agricultural practices Lal advocated are now at the heart of efforts to improve agriculture systems in the tropics and globally.