Eminent Indian-American soil scientist Rattan Lal was on Thursday named this year's recipient of the World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.
Lal, a native of India and a citizen of the United States, will receive the USD 250,000 award that honours his contribution throughout his career spanning more than five decades and four continents to promote innovative soil-saving techniques that benefit the livelihoods of more than 500 million smallholder farmers, improve the food and nutritional security of more than two billion people and saves hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems.
The unbound joy and excitement of receiving the 2020 World Food Prize reminds me about the gratitude, privilege and honour of working for farmers from around the world, Lal said.
Yet, the urgent task of feeding humanity is not fulfilled until each and every person has access to an adequate amount of nutritious food grown on a healthy soil and in a clean environment.
Lal serves as Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and founding Director of the Carbon Management & Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University (OSU).