Soil health scholar Rattan Lal, a native of India and a citizen of the United States, is the winner of the 2020 World Food Prize.
“The world’s population continues to grow, and we need to use the resources we have more productively and efficiently,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in a statement. “Dr. Lal’s research in soil science shows that the solution to this problem is right under our feet. He’s helping the earth’s estimated 500 million small farmers be faithful stewards of their land through improved management, less soil degradation, and the recycling of nutrients.”
Lal — a professor of soil science at The Ohio State University — has dedicated his career to studying land-use and soil management practices to restore soil health around the world. Healthy soil helps farmers’ crops flourish, which increases food security.
Often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture,” the $250,000 World Food Prize is awarded each year to those who have “enhanced human development and confronted global hunger through improving the quality, quantity or availability of food,” according to its website.
In his remarks, Lal spoke to what motivated his work in food security. “Even one child going to bed hungry is one too many and not acceptable,” he said.