Sec. Clinton announces 2010 World Food Prize winners & more research funding

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, June 16 – “If we are to feed the future without leveling the forests, draining the aquifers, and depleting the soil of all its nutrients, we need science,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told U.S. and foreign dignitaries Wednesday in announcing the 2010 World Food Prize winners: Jo Luck, President of Heifer International, and David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World.

Speaking in the ornate Ben Franklin room reserved for state occasions, Clinton praised Beckmann's organization for “ helping to really lead the way in terms of development and urging the United States to improve coordination and better target our investments and to learn from local communities.” She said Luck “ has done an exemplary job of building Heifer International into one of the world’s most beloved anti-poverty organizations.” Clinton called the two non-profit leaders “passionate advocates” for the international development principles championed by the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, the founder of the World Food Prize.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces the 2010 World Food Prize as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah listen. Photo: Agri-Pulse.

To build on the work of pioneers such as Borlaug, Beckmann and Luck, Clinton said the the administration has “asked for a nearly 50 percent increase in funding for international agricultural research in 2011.” She said the aim is to target research to “not only help save and improve lives, but raise incomes for farmers and generate growth across Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world.”

Clinton also announced that as part of the new commitment to international agricultural development, the administration is creating the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Institute “to leverage the work of our nation’s scientists to benefit farmers in developing countries worldwide.”

The Borlaug Institute will support the administration’s new Feed the Future initiative which Clinton said is a government-wide “comprehensive effort to help people raise, buy, and sell food in developing countries . . . to strengthen every link in the farming chain from improving the seeds that farmers plant in their fields to helping create thriving food markets to promoting nutrient-rich crops so people get the nourishment that they need to thrive, especially mothers and children.”

Clinton said that with a new focus on helping developing countries improve their agricultural productivity, “As farmers grow more food, people will have more to eat. The cost of food will decrease, so people can spend more of their income on education, health care, and other critical needs. And as farmers sell more, their incomes then contribute to broader-based economic growth.”

The 2010 World Food Prize will be formally presented to David Beckmann and Jo Luck at the 2010 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 14. The ceremony will be held as part of the World Food Prize’s 2010 Borlaug Dialogue, themed “Take it to the Farmer: Reaching the World’s Smallholders,” Oct. 12-16 in Des Moines, IA. For more information, go to:

For coverage of remarks at the Wood Food Prize announcement by Agriculture Sec. Vilsack and USAID Administrator Shah, go to:

For news coverage of the Feed the Future initiative announced May 20, go to:

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