World Food Prize Goes to Micro-Irrigation Expert

Oct 19, 2012 04:48 AM EDT | By Sharon Robinson

  • print
Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon, at the World Food Prize Ceremony, stressed the importance of coming up with new approaches to improving food security. (Photo : Economic Forum)

This year's World Food Prize was won by Dr. Daniel Hillel. The U.N. awarded him for recognition of his efforts with micro-irrigation, which helps water fields in regions with low levels of water.

Like Us on Facebook

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised this year's winner Hillel for his work, saying that it "has transcended boundaries to help millions of farmers grow more crop per drop of water in some of the driest places on earth."

Hillel's drip irrigation system is "making the desert bloom" on six million hectares of arid land in more than 30 countries, the U.N. chief noted. "His achievement started as a technical innovation, but it has made a signal contribution to global harmony, stability and peace," he said, according to the U.N. News Centre.

The micro-irrigation system also results in considerably less damage to the environment than any other irrigation method and is also seen to increase yields.

The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 and has since recognized efforts by individuals from all parts of the world.

The Secretary General also took the opportunity to stress that food insecurity is on the rise all over the world, thanks to several factors, including drought. He also stressed that the current crisis faced by the global food supply is different from the 2008 food crisis because of the steps nations have taken to protect their food supplies.

"We have learned important lessons. More countries have put safety nets in place. There has been less panic buying, and fewer trade restrictions," Ban said. "Nations are also investing more in agriculture, and strengthening international cooperation."

He also mentioned several projects that the UN has been undertaking to protect food insecure countries, including the Zero Hunger Challenge, have significantly lent to the improvement of food security in several countries. The stress on improving global food security was underlined by the recent release of the UN FAO's State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI). The report revealed that around 870 million people the world over go hungry, of which 842 million live in developing nations.

Hillel's new mode of irrigation is likely to make waves all over the world and may help improve irrigation methods and yields.

The World Food Prize ceremony, however, was marred slightly by Occupy Protesters. They were protesting against the role played by big agri-businesses in agriculture. They believe that agri-businesses are purely motivated by profit rather than food security.

According to reports, more than five were arrested at Des Moines, Iowa, outside the venue of the World Food Price Ceremony.



© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Dunkin Donuts Newington, CT 8/2014

Dunkin' Donuts To Close 100 Stores in the U.S

Sad news for Dunkin' Donut lovers! Dunkin' Brands will be closing 100 Dunkin' Donuts stores in the U.S in the next 15 months, starting the last quarter of 2015.


Nestle High-end Cailler Chocolate to Finally Hit U.S.

Global food company Nestle SA (NESN.VX) is expanding into the luxury chocolate market with a centuries-old Swiss chocolate brand that will be sold mainly online.


‘7-Eleven’ Chairman and CEO Resign, Convenience Chain Counter Walk-outs

Both chairman and CEO of 7-eleven Australia have resigned in management restructure.

Food Tech

Sustainable Energy: How Portobello Mushrooms Can Someday Power Your Phone

In another move to look for sustainable energy, engineers at the University of California have discovered a new way to power tablets and smart phones. In a recent study conducted, the researchers found a way to use Portobello mushrooms to power these devices. Yes, the yummy Portobello mushrooms.


A Global Coffee Shortage Is On the Horizon

There are more people drinking coffee now more than ever and that doesn't bode well for the global supply of beans.

Homemade Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

2 Sisters Food Group: Factory Powered by Potato

In the continuous effort to look for sustainable source of energy, one company in the United Kingdom has devised a way to power its factories using waste mashed potato. England's third largest food company, 2 Sisters Food Group, will unveil its new electricity generator this week.

Real Time Analytics