The World Food Prize Foundation


Heidi Kühn

2023 World Food Prize Laureate, Founder, Roots of Peace

After winning her own fight against cancer, Heidi Kühn was inspired to found the nonprofit organization Roots of Peace to battle an insidious “cancer of the earth” — by replacing the remnants of war with bountiful farmland. Since 1997, the work of Roots of Peace has impacted over one million farmers and members of farming families, spanning Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Guatemala, Iraq, Israel, Palestinian areas and Vietnam. It has facilitated the removal of unexploded bombs and landmines and restored the land to agricultural use with the planting of millions of grapevines and fruit trees.

Today, more than 50 countries worldwide are contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war, rendering the land where they lay hidden completely unusable. Landmines kill or injure more than 5,000 people each year, about half of them children. There is a strong correlation between the most marginalized and food-insecure communities and contamination with landmines and unexploded ordnances. Kühn works in these afflicted areas to help those most in need, freeing the land that is held hostage to destructive weapons of war.

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