To conclude the Norman Borlaug Centennial year, ag and science experts on October 15-17 will explore the oft-posed question: Can producers sustainably feed 9 billion people on the planet by the year 2050?
The World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue international symposium, to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, will this year pay tribute to its founder, Dr. Norman Borlaug, during the 100th anniversary year of his birth.
Top experts will look into the next century as agriculture faces the critical challenge of sustainably feeding a growing population. The Dialogue will give special emphasis to the powers of intensification, innovation and inspiration to uplift smallholder farmers and meet the increasing demand for nutritious food.
Special events and visitors
Events this year will include a keynote address by the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma.
President Koroma will also be part of the announcing of the four 40 Chances Fellows – individuals under age 40 who have been selected to each receive $150,000 to implement market and social entrepreneurship projects that fight hunger, conflict or poverty in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Malawi.
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The projects are part of a program created by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Tony Blair's African Governance Initiative, and The World Food Prize.
Other visitors include Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development; Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, U.S.; Enrique Martinez y Martinez, Secretary of Agriculture, Mexico; and Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Liberia.
Borlaug Dialogue topics
Topics at the 2014 symposium will focus on farmers in celebration of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization's Year of the Family Farmer. They include:
• Taking stock of where the world currently stands in meeting hunger challenges;
• Closing yield gaps while addressing pressing water, gender and nutrition challenges and disparities;
• The role of information technology and data to increase productivity, conserve the environment, adapt to climate volatility and consumer needs, and improve the lives of farmers and other participants along the value chain;
• Sustainable intensification to improve productivity with a special focus on soils and fertilizers;
• Innovations in insurance and agrofinancing; and
• The role of the next generation in the fight against hunger through the DialogueNEXT conversation.
Other special events
Additional events surrounding the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue will include:
• The 2014 Iowa Hunger Summit, October 14: The summit is a free, one-day, grassroots event for individuals and organizations working to alleviate hunger at home and abroad.
• 2014 Award Ceremony, October 15: The Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation,. The third annual $10,000 award will honor an individual under the age of 40 who emulates Dr. Norman Borlaug's incredible dedication to field research and application. Nominations are sought through June 30.
• 40 Chances Fellows Introduction, October 16: The President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, will introduce four young entrepreneurs who will be awarded $150,000 each to implement hunger-, conflict- or poverty-curbing plans.
• 2014 Laureate Award Ceremony, October 16: The 2014 Laureate, Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, will be honored and officially awarded the World Food Prize at a ceremony and dinner in the Iowa State Capitol.
• 20th Anniversary World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, October 18. More than 140 high school students and their teachers from across the country will gather to present papers on food security solutions, work with experts and laureates, and participate in interactive activities and field visits.
More information is available at www.worldfoodprize.org/borlaugdialogue.