An Indian scientist living in Mexico has received the World Food Prize for outstanding contribution to wheat crop’s resistance to various diseases.
Indian-born Sanjaya Rajaram was awarded with the accolade for his effective cross-breeding of different wheat, which has resulted in the crop’s resistance against disease as well as its ability to grow in different climates and environments.
He is credited with developing 480 wheat varieties that have been released in 51 countries on six continents.
According to the prize, which is worth USD 250,000, the varieties he developed have led to a 200 million ton increase in wheat production worldwide, which increases the availability of food to millions of people.
“It’s a great honor,” Rajaram said. “I’m a very humble person but very honored the World Food Prize committee has recognized me for the work I have done.”
“Future crop production is bound to decline unless we fully factor in the issues related to climate change, soil fertility and water deficits, and utilize advanced genetics in the next 20 to 30 years,” he said.
“His breakthrough breeding technologies have had a far-reaching and significant impact in providing more food around the globe and alleviating world hunger,” Kenneth Quinn, the head of World Food Prize, said in a statement.
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