Last week, over 1500 individuals gathered in Des Moines, Iowa to honor the 2013 World Food Prize Laureates and to participate in the week-long Borlaug Dialogue, a symposium that features discussions by expert scientists, political leaders, company executives, and thought leaders of the agricultural community. The Prize and Dialogue have historically placed emphasis on honoring and celebrating biotechnology in agriculture; this year’s event continued the tradition.
The 2013 Prize was awarded to three scientists: Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, Mary-Dell Chilton, and Robert T. Fraley of the United States. The three Laureates were awarded for their innovations in biotechnology and their application of science to develop crops that have improved disease and pest resistance, respond and survive in variable climates, and produce a larger overall yield. The achievements of these scientists hold promise for feeding a growing population.
At the Dialogue, the list of distinguished speakers included: H.E. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland, Howard G. Buffet, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Honorable Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. To read the full list of speakers, please click here.
Throughout the week’s many panel discussions, FAO maintained a high profile. On Thursday morning, the FAO Liaison Office of Washington (LOW) hosted a side event to discuss how the Organization’s new strategic objectives can help it better respond to the challenges of world hunger and malnutrition. The well-attended event featured FAO executives Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Development Department. The event was moderated by Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow on Global Agriculture and Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
To learn more about this year’s World Food Prize and
all of its corresponding events, be sure to watch the video footage of the events.