The World Food Prize Foundation today announced an Israeli irrigation pioneer, Dr. Daniel Hillel, as the 2012 World Food Prize Laureate.
Hillel's implementation of drip, trickle and continuous-feed irrigation for crops in arid regions has revolutionized food production in the Middle East and other regions for the past 50 years.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization promoted Hillel's concepts as HELPFUL (High Frequency, Efficient, Low-volume, Partial-area, Farm-unit, Low-cost). The "micro-irrigation" model has been adopted in Asia, Australia, and the Americas, and is now used to produce crops on more than six million hectares.
Hillel also developed additional water-management techniques which have enhanced crop production through the study of soil drainage and surface treatments.
Hillel will receive the prize on Oct. 18 in Des Moines, Iowa at the 2012 Borlaug Dialogue entitled, "Partnerships & Priorities: Transforming the Global Food Security Agenda." At the event, Hillel will receive a $250,000 cash award and a sculpture by designer Saul Bass.
The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1986, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of The Prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation, located in Des Moines, Iowa.
Borlaug died in 2009.