Norman Borlaug dies
Norman Borlaug, who liked to be called Norm, the Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate renowned for his commitment to
fighting hunger in the developing world, has died at
the age of 95.
Borlaug, who passed away on 12 September, was a respected
wheat scientist and widely regarded as the father of
the 'Green Revolution' — the period between 1960
and 1990 when food production quadrupled in India and
Pakistan and more than doubled around the rest of the
Working in Mexico in the 1950s Borlaug and his team
created disease-resistant, high-yielding wheat varieties
— now grown throughout the world — and developed
improved farming methods. Their work is seen by many
as instrumental in saving millions of people from starvation
and led the way for science-based agriculture in developing
M. S. Swaminathan, India's leading agricultural scientist,
told The Hindu: "He was a man of extraordinary
humanism, commitment to a hunger-free world and knew
no nationality… He is the greatest hunger-fighter
of all time. His contribution was multidimensional —
scientific,political and humanistic."
Borlaug is so far the only person to have won a Nobel
Peace Prize for fighting hunger. Presenting him with
the prize in 1970, Nobel Committee chairman Aase Lionaes
said: "More than any other single person his age,
he has helped to provide bread for a hungry world".
Borlaug played a key role in launching the World Food
Prize in 1986 — now considered the Nobel Prize
for food and agriculture.
That same year, Borlaug — together with then-US
president Jimmy Carter and the Nippon Foundation of
Japan — established an agricultural program for
Africa. Since its inception, Sasakawa-Global 2000 has
fostered the transfer of agricultural technologies to
millions of small farmers.
Norm once said: 'I personally cannot live comfortably
in the midst of abject hunger and poverty and human
misery.' Millions of small-scale farmers in developing
countries today still practice low-input, subsistence
agriculture, condemning them and their families to lives
of poverty ... The world cannot be at peace until these
people are helped to feed themselves and escape poverty."
We at National Agriculture and Environmental Forum,
salute this great humanitarian and would like to express
our profound grief on the demise of Norman Earnest Borlaug.
May God grant peace to the noble soul.