Sanchez was cited for ground-breaking
contributions to reducing hunger and malnutrition throughout the developing
world by transforming depleted tropical soils into productive agricultural
Kenneth M. Quinn, World
Food Prize Foundation president and former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia,
announced Sanchezs selection at the International Horticultural
Congress in Toronto, Canada, on Aug. 11. Quinn noted that it appears
that this is the highest scientific honor ever presented to a Cuban
Quinn added, Dr. Sanchez
is also being honored for having played a critical role in establishing
real alternatives to slash-and-burn farming, which has destroyed millions
of acres of rainforest, as well as his work in driving the international
effort to establish agroforestry as a means of mitigating global warming,
by removing millions of tons of CO2 from the air.
Since the 1960s, Sanchez
has helped improve food security in Latin America, Africa and Southeast
Asia. A graduate of Cornell University, Sanchez served as a soil scientist
with N.C. State Universitys College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
from 1968 to 1991. From 1991 to 2001, he was director general of the
International Center for Research in Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya.
ICRAF is a Future Harvest center of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research. Since 2001, he has been a visiting professor
of tropical resources at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. George Wilson, N.C.
States vice provost for international affairs, said that the World
Food Prize is the foremost award for improving the quality, quantity
and availability of food.
influence in international agriculture began while he was a faculty
member at N.C. State, working on research and extension programs that
began in Peru in the 1950s. Through these programs, Pedro was instrumental
in helping Peru dramatically improve its national food security, achieving
self-sufficiency in rice production within three years and achieving
among the highest rice yields in the world, said Wilson, who worked
with Sanchez in Peru in the early 1980s.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
and World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug remarked that Sanchezs
achievement gives hope that the Green Revolution can finally be extended
Dr. Sanchez receives the
World Food Prize in Ames, Iowa, during the World Food Prize International
Symposium at the end of October.