By Savanna Henderson, Humanitas Global
Globally, nearly two billion people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, suffering from impaired growth and development, increased risk of disease and death from infection, preventable blindness and brain damage, and more. The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, is reputed to have said, “Let food be thy medicine”. This quote is symbolic of the work and accomplishment of the four World Food Prize laureates, Dr. Maria Andrade, Dr. Jan Low, Dr. Robert Mwanga, and Dr. Howarth Bouis, being honored this year. Biofortification, breeding vitamins and nutrients into staple crops, unites the four laureates who have developed crops to tackle micronutrient malnutrition. It is with these crops, orange-fleshed sweet potato, vitamin A cassava and maize, iron beans and pearl millet, and zinc rice and wheat, that malnutrition and its’ associated impacts on health and well-being will be extinguished from recognition for future generations.
We are honored to be attending this year’s Borlaug Dialogue as it marks the 30th anniversary of the World Food Prize, established by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, as well as the anniversary of Dr. Borlaug’s first trip to Africa to launch a Green Revolution. Joined by international leaders, policy makers, farmers, scientific, academic and development experts, and leaders from agribusiness and non-governmental organizations, the Borlaug Dialogue will continue to address the obstacles standing in the way of a food and nutrition secure world.
Nutrition will be a prime topic this year, as a critical element of food security. In addition there will be discussions on issues of national security and crisis on food security, the role of the private sector in improved nutrition and climate resilience, African women’s role in agricultural transformation, and the availability of a nutritious global diet, among others.
If you cannot be in Iowa for the Borlaug Dialogue, be sure to tune in online for the webcast of all the symposium sessions and follow along on Twitter at @ZHCommunity and @WorldFoodPrize with #FoodPrize16.