The 2020 World Food Prize Laureate was unveiled during a special virtual ceremony Thursday morning.
World Food Prize President Barbara Stinson announced that Dr. Rattan Lal, a native of India and a citizen of the United States, will receive the 2020 World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.
?Over his career spanning more than five decades and four continents, our 50th Laureate has promoted soil saving techniques,? Stinson said. ?Those have benefited more than 500 million small older farmers, improved the food security and livelihoods of more than two billion people, and saved hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems.?
Dr. Lal?s work in agriculture was praised by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
?Here at USDA, our motto is to do right and feed everyone,? Perdue said. ?The scientific innovations like those developed by Dr. Lal embody this motto in the work that he and we are doing. The agricultural practices that Lal developed and advocated for are now at the heart of efforts to improve agricultural systems.?
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke during the World Food Prize ceremony. He says the world?s population continues to grow and that we need to be using the resources we have more productively and efficiently to make sure everyone has enough food on their table.
?Dr. Lal?s research in soil science shows that the solution to this problem is right under our feet,? Pompeo said. ?He?s helping the Earth?s estimated 500 million small farmers be faithful stewards of their land through improved management, less soil degradation, and the recycling of nutrients.?
For more information on Dr. Rattan Lal?s background, visit worldfoodprize.org/2020laureate.