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This year’s World Food Prize is to be awarded jointly to an African scientist and a Chinese scientist, both of whom have made significant contributions to increasing rice yields in the developing world.
In announcing the winners, World Food Prize president Kenneth Quinn praised both scientists for their “breakthrough scientific achievements which have significantly increased food security for millions of people from Asia to Africa”.
Jones developed in the 1990s a kind of rice uniquely adapted to the growing conditions of West Africa. Known as ‘New Rice for Africa’ (NERICA), it combines African and Asian strains of rice. This is already producing enhanced harvests for thousands of poor farmers, and could potentially benefit 20 million farmers in West Africa alone.
The Prize will be formally presented to Yuan and Jones at a ceremony in October in Iowa, United States.
Photo credit: World Food Prize