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Indian-American soil scientist Rattan Lal wins prestigious World Food Prize

In this undated photo provided by the World Food Prize Foundation, Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science at The Ohio State University poses at the University in Columbus, Ohio.(World Food Prize Foundation via AP) (AP)Premium
In this undated photo provided by the World Food Prize Foundation, Rattan Lal, a professor of soil science at The Ohio State University poses at the University in Columbus, Ohio.(World Food Prize Foundation via AP) (AP)

Lal, 75, was named as the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.

WASHINGTON : Eminent Indian-American soil scientist Rattan Lal was on Thursday named this year’s recipient of USD 250,000 World Food Prize, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauding his research in soil science, saying he is helping millions of small farmers around the world with his work on increasing food production and recycling of nutrients.

Lal, 75, was named as the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.

“The world’s population continues to grow, and we need to use the resources we have more productively and efficiently to make sure everyone has enough food on their table," Pompeo said.

“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 though improved management, less soil degradation, and the recycling of nutrients. The billions of people who depend on these farms stand to benefit greatly from his work," he said.

A native of India and citizen of the United States, Lal has in his career of over 50 years and across four continents promoted innovative soil-saving techniques that benefited the livelihoods of more than 500 million smallholder farmers, improved the food and nutritional security of more than two billion people and saved hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems, the World Food Prize organisation said.

Describing his “unbound joy and excitement" on receiving the 2020 World Food Prize, Lal said the “urgent task of feeding humanity is not fulfilled until each and every person has access to an adequate amount of nutritious food grown on a healthy soil and in a clean environment."

US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the scientific innovations, like those developed by Lal, embody the US Department of Agriculture’s motto of ‘to do right and feed everyone’."

“The agricultural practices Lal developed and advocated for are now at the heart of efforts to improve agricultural systems," Perdue said.

Lal serves as Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and founding Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University (OSU).

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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