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Home > Green News > SOLUTIONS MAGAZINE > Special Reports > Special Reports and Featured Products about Green Best Practices > Vision!

Tribute to Norman Borlaug, the father of the "green revolution"

Many experts credit the green revolution with averting global famine during the second half of the 20th century and saving perhaps 1 billion lives. Normal Borlaug was the father of that "green revolution.

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"Normal Borlaug has probably done more and is known by fewer people than anybody that has done that much," said Dr. Ed Runge, retired head of Texas A&M University's Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and a close friend who persuaded Borlaug to teach at the school.

'Reach for the stars. Although you will never touch them, if you reach hard enough, you will find that you get a little 'star dust' on you in the process.'

Equal parts scientist and humanitarian, the Iowa-born Normal Borlaug realized improved crop varieties were just part of the answer to world hunger, and pressed governments for farmer-friendly economic policies and improved infrastructure to make markets accessible. A 2006 book about Borlaug is titled "The Man Who Fed the World."

He made the world a better place – a much better place. He had people helping him, but he was the driving force.

Borlaug began the work that led to his Nobel in Mexico at the end of World War II. There he used innovative breeding techniques to produce disease-resistant varieties of wheat that produced much more grain than traditional strains.

The Nobel committee honored Borlaug in 1970 for his contributions to high-yield crop varieties and bringing other agricultural innovations to the developing world.

Thanks to the green revolution, world food production more than doubled between 1960 and 1990.

In Pakistan and India, two of the nations that benefited most from the new crop varieties, grain yields more than quadrupled over the period.

"We would like his life to be a model for making a difference in the lives of others and to bring about efforts to end human misery for all mankind," his children said in a statement.

Agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug, the father of the "green revolution" who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating world hunger and saving hundreds of millions of lives, died Saturday in Texas, a Texas A&M University spokeswoman said. He was 95. And will remain a hero among us.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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