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Borlaug Fellows Gain Inspiration, Insight During World Food Prize

Emmanuel Amoakwah, a Borlaug Fellow from Ghana currently studying at Ohio State University, gives a presentation on climate change during the Borlaug Symposium at the 2013 World Food Prize on Oct. 16. Approximately 40 Borlaug Fellows and their mentors attended the annual event in Des Moines to network, meet members of the Borlaug family and high-level agricultural officials and this year’s World Food Prize Laureates. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

Emmanuel Amoakwah, a Borlaug Fellow from Ghana currently studying at Ohio State University, gives a presentation on climate change during the Borlaug Symposium at the 2013 World Food Prize on Oct. 16. Approximately 40 Borlaug Fellows and their mentors attended the annual event in Des Moines to network, meet members of the Borlaug family and high-level agricultural officials and this year’s World Food Prize Laureates. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

Every year 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. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug created the prize, which emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people.

This year’s event was held from Oct. 16-19 in Des Moines, Iowa, and also included a USDA-sponsored symposium for 40 foreign scientists from 23 countries (and their university mentors) in the Foreign Agricultural Service Borlaug Fellowship Program. Since 2004, the program has provided U.S.-based training and collaborative research opportunity for scientists and policymakers from developing and middle-income countries to promote food security and economic growth.

The USDA-sponsored symposium featured discussions on topics such as climate change, biotechnology and coffee farming in Latin America. The fellows were also able to network with each other and meet members of the Borlaug family, high-level agricultural researchers and policy-makers and this year’s World Food Prize Laureates. One of the Laureates, Dr. Robert Fraley, was the keynote speaker for the symposium.

“I was impressed by the tenacity and devotion of the Laureates, and I think their commitment to science earned them the coveted award,” said Muriira Geoffrey Karau, a Borlaug Fellow from Kenya who is attending Tennessee State University to learn about biotechnology methods for grains. “I learned that I can help the world food crisis by using my basic science to come up with innovative and practical ideas that address climate change and its effect on food production.”

James Mlamba, a Borlaug Fellow from Malawi currently studying at the University of Missouri, introduces himself to other fellows gathered for the Borlaug Symposium orientation dinner at the 2013 World Food Prize. Approximately 40 Borlaug Fellows and their mentors attended the annual event in Des Moines to network, meet members of the Borlaug family and high-level agricultural officials and this year’s World Food Prize Laureates. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

James Mlamba, a Borlaug Fellow from Malawi currently studying at the University of Missouri, introduces himself to other fellows gathered for the Borlaug Symposium orientation dinner at the 2013 World Food Prize. Approximately 40 Borlaug Fellows and their mentors attended the annual event in Des Moines to network, meet members of the Borlaug family and high-level agricultural officials and this year’s World Food Prize Laureates. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

For Borlaug Fellow James Mlamba, the recognition of young scientists through the Borlaug Field Award was a memorable part of the symposium. “Borlaug saw the prize as a means of establishing role models who would inspire others,” said James Mlamba, a Borlaug Fellow from Malawi where he’s the Principal Land Resource Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.  “The recognition of Charity Mutegi’s work to prevent the spread of alflatoxin is a remarkable story as it shows how one dedicated person can make a difference in a society. She proved that science has a place in tackling the problem of food insecurity and post harvest food losses.”

By providing the Borlaug Fellows with the opportunity to attend these events, FAS seeks to inspire them in their future food security endeavors in the hope that someday one will receive the World Food Prize too. For more information about the Borlaug Fellowship program and other FAS programs, visit www.fas.usda.gov.

Attendees enter the Iowa State Capital before the start of the 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony in Des Moines. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

Attendees enter the Iowa State Capital before the start of the 2013 World Food Prize Laureate Ceremony in Des Moines. (Photo by Jared Henderson, University of Missouri)

One Response to “Borlaug Fellows Gain Inspiration, Insight During World Food Prize”

  1. Emmanuel says:

    Am a fellow from Ghana, currently in Purdue University and I must say it was a great privilege to be in Des Moines this year to shear insights with fellow researchers across the the globe. And to listen to experienced policymakers.

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