"The Greatest Challenge in Human History: Can we sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050?"
Update: Due to rising concerns about ebola, especially as it relates to agriculture and food security, several people next week will address this critical issue. Please stay tuned for updates.
Des Moines, Iowa (Sept. 24, 2014) -- The World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue international symposium, which has been called the "premiere conference in the world on global agriculture," will focus this year on "The Greatest Challenge in Human History: Can we sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050?"
The 2014 Borlaug Dialogue, Oct. 15-17 in Des Moines, Iowa, will this year pay tribute to founder Dr. Norman Borlaug as we culminate the celebration of the 100th anniversary year of his birth and look ahead to the next century as we face the critical challenge of feeding our growing population, or facing serious consequences.
Experts will focus on critical gaps and how we can address them. During the UN Year of International Family Farming, the symposium will also give special emphasis to the powers of intensification, innovation and inspiration to uplift smallholder farmers and meet the increasing demand for nutritious food.
Media registration is now open. Members of the media can apply for press credentials at www.worldfoodprize.org/credentials. The full agenda and speaker list can be found at www.worldfoodprize.org/borlaugdialogue. All sessions will also be webcast live from www.worldfoodprize.org.
The Borlaug Dialogue annually gathers some of the world’s top scientific and agricultural experts to discuss cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition. The three-day conference convenes a wide array of scientific experts, policy leaders, business executives, NGO representatives and farmers, and brings together over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries.
Highlights this year will include:
- A keynote address by the President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma.
- President Koroma will also take part in announcing the four 40 Chances Fellows, who are individuals under age 40 selected to each receive $150,000 to implement market and social entrepreneurship projects that fight hunger, conflict or poverty in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Malawi, through a program created by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Tony Blair’s African Governance Initiative, and The World Food Prize.
- His Excellency Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development
- The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States
- His Excellency Enrique Martinez y Martinez, Secretary of Agriculture, Mexico
- His Excellency Joseph Sam Sesay , Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone
- Her Excellency Geraldine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda
- Her Excellency Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Liberia
- The Honorable Charles H. Rivkin, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Strive Masiyawa, Chairman of the Board, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, who has been called the "Bill Gates of Africa"
- Dr. Pamela Anderson, Gates Foundation
- Dr. Emma Naluyima, Ugandan smallholder farmer
Themes and hot topics to be discussed include:
- Taking stock of our progress and the gaps in meeting the global demand for food, including the yield gap, with emphasis on nutrition, sustainability, water and soil health
- A special focus on smallholder farmers and what models can provide examples for best practices and pathways for their success
- A panel on wheat and rust disease, to which a leading Iranian scientist, Dr. Goodarz Najafian, has been invited
- Policies and partnerships in Africa
- The role of information technology and data to increase productivity, conserve the environment, adapt to climate volatility and consumer needs, and improve the lives of farmers and other participants along the value chain
- Trendlines in political stability, global trade and potential disruptions
- Innovations in insurance and agrofinancing
- And the role of the next generation in the fight against hunger.
Additional events surrounding the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue will include:
- 2014 Iowa Hunger Summit, October 14. A free one-day, grassroots event for individuals and organizations working to alleviate hunger at home and abroad.
- 2014 Award Ceremony: The Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation,October 15. The third annual $10,000 award will honor an individual under the age of 40 who emulates Dr. Norman Borlaug’s incredible dedication to field research and application. Nominations are sought through June 30.
- 2014 Laureate Award Ceremony, October 16. Over 800 honored guests will gather as this year’s laureate, Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, is honored and officially awarded the World Food Prize at a ceremony and dinner in the magnificent Iowa State Capitol. Learn more about Dr. Rajaram at www.worldfoodprize.org/2014laureate
- 20th Anniversary World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, October 18. Over 160 high school students and their teachers from across the country and other nations will gather to present papers on food security solutions, work with experts and laureates, and participate in interactive activities and field visits. The goal of this program is to inspire the next generation of agricultural scientists and humanitarians.
Media Contact: Megan Forgrave, 515-245-3794
ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE: The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 39 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge hunger and food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.