The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize Laureate Swaminathan to receive honorary ISU degree


WFP Laureate Swaminathan receives honorary ISU degree

(AMES, Iowa) – Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, recipient of the first World Food Prize for his scientific leadership in the "green revolution," received an honorary degree from Iowa State University on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, IA, USA.

Swaminathan is chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, a center for sustainable agriculture and rural development, in Chennai, India. A plant geneticist, Swaminathan has helped produce rice and wheat varieties that yielded a higher amount of grain and led to increased crop production in countries around the world. Working closely with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug during the "green revolution” of the 1960s, Swaminathan’s accomplishments helped India produce enough food to meet its needs and prevented large-scale famine in several developing countries.  TIME magazine named him one of the “20 most influential Asians of the 20th century.”

Swaminathan received the World Food Prize in 1987 and has remained heavily involved in the activities of the World Food Prize Foundation. He developed strong ties to Iowa when the Prize moved its headquarters to the state in 1991 after Des Moines businessman John Ruan assumed sponsorship of the foundation. Swaminathan was a plenary speaker at the first International Crop Science Congress (1992), hosted by Iowa State, and since then has taken an interest in the university's programs in agriculture and food. He has hosted ISU students and faculty members at his research foundation in Chennai, India. He also delivered the second annual Norman Borlaug Lecture at ISU in 2003.

While at Iowa State, Swaminathan toured the campus and visited several Iowa farms. He also presented a seminar at the University on August 3 entitled "From a Green to an Ever-green Revolution,” sponsored by the Institute for Food Safety and Security and the College of Agriculture.

Dr. Swaminathan will return to Iowa in October to speak at the World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium and to attend the 20th Anniversary World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony. Dr. A Colin McClung, H.E. Alysson Paolinelli, and Mr. Edson Lobato, who over several decades worked to open the Cerrado region of Brazil to farming, will join Swaminathan as World Food Prize Laureates at the Ceremony.

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