Dhaka 20th October, 2013. This year, three researchers who played a prominent role in developing genetically modified crops, namely, Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta, Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto and Marc Van Montagu of University of Ghent in Belgium were awarded the World Food Prize on 17thOctober at the Iowa Capitol in the USA. Their findings were focused on the discovery of the natural genetic engineer bacterium Agrobacterium and modification of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method in crops which revolutionized modern biotechnology. The application of the technique enabled the concerned biotechnologists to genetically modify crops which in the long run paved the way to feed the ever increasing emerging population of the world.
The world food prize ceremony was held October 16-18 concomitant with several side events like Norman Borlaug Dialogues, Award for field crop research which was proudly won by Charity Mutegi from Kenya for her contribution in increasing food availability for farmers. It also recognized 150 high school student participants from different countries as part of the Global Youth Program. The World Food prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug who was the recipient of 1970 Nobel prize for peace. This Prize focuses outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in improving quality, quantity and availability of food throughout the world. In 1990 John Ruan,a businessman and philanthropist from Des Moines in Iowa sponsored and established The World Food Prize Foundation. The first World Food Prize was awarded to Dr. Swaminathan from India. Among the laureates from different countries, Dr. Md Yunus from Bangladesh got the prize in 1994.
[Summarzed and communicated by Ms Sabrina Elias at the DU Plant Breeding Lab.]