World Food Prize Goes to Researcher’s Work on Irrigation
For decades, scientist Daniel Hillel toiled on a radical new way to bring water to crops in dry regions throughout the Middle East and around the world. At first, Hillel garnered little public attention for his work that improved food yields and maximized water use by farmers, but that changed on Tuesday after he was announced as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious World Food Prize.
Each year the World Food Prize recognizes the work of an individual whose work has helped improve the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. The award was created in 1986 by Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who gained awareness for developing wheat varieties with higher yields that could adapt to a diverse range of growing conditions. Winners of the Food Prize, which include former presidents, lawmakers and researchers from around the world, are awarded $250,000 for their work.
“I know that my work has not been in vain, to have it recognized at such a level internationally. One works mostly in the field or a community or in a far away country and the effect accumulates gradually until at last, if one is lucky, is recognized. So this award is very gratifying,” Hillel said in an interview.
The World Food Prize will be presented to Hillel on Oct. 18 in Des Moines, Iowa. He did not attend the announcement in Washington on Tuesday.