Head of UN effort against global hunger awarded World Food Prize
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed the designation of the head of the United Nations effort against global hunger as the winner of the 2002 World Food Prize, which honours contributions to improving human development by increasing the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.
Dr. Pedro A. Sanchez, a renowned soil scientist and the Chair of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on World Hunger, was awarded the $250,000 prize yesterday at ceremonies held in Toronto for the 26th International Horticultural Congress.
Through his research in the Cerrado of Brazil, Dr. Sanchez developed ways to revitalize tropical soils that had been considered extremely unproductive, greatly expanding that country's agricultural output.
Subsequently in East Africa, where Dr. Sanchez served as Director General of the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, he managed to restore nutrients to severely depleted soils, resulting in dramatic increases in crop yields, affecting hundreds of thousands of small farmers.
"It is clear that Dr. Pedro Sanchez's achievements offer great promise that the Green Revolution can be spread through sub-Saharan Africa," the Secretary-General said in a statement, noting that it was particularly fitting that the World Food Prize will be presented to Dr. Sanchez on 24 October, United Nations Day.
"Nothing could better reflect the direct connection between Dr. Sanchez's accomplishments and his new mission on behalf of the Millennium Project of the United Nations," he said.