Israeli Scientist Named World Food Prize Winner (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 06/13/12)
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Dr. Daniel Hillel, an Israeli-American scientist who created an
innovative way of bringing water to crops in arid regions, was named
on Tuesday the winner of the 2012 World Food Prize.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize
Foundation, announced the name of the recipient, who will be
presented with the $250,000 award in October.
“This year we honor Dr. Daniel Hillel, a scientist from Israel, for
his pioneering work in the Middle East that revolutionized food
production in that region and around the world,” Quinn said in a
statement. “Dr. Hillel laid the foundation for maximizing efficient
water usage in agriculture through a method known as micro-
irrigation, which has impacted millions of lives.”
Quinn emphasized the importance not only of Dr. Hillel´s scientific
achievement but also his dedication to working with people across
borders, to help improve food security for all.
“Confronting hunger can bring diverse people together across even the
broadest political, ethnic, religious or diplomatic differences,”
Quinn said, adding, “Dr. Hillel´s work and motivation has been to
bridge such divisions and to promote peace and understanding in the
Middle East by advancing a breakthrough achievement addressing a
problem that so many countries share in common: water scarcity.”
Quinn noted that “It is significant that Dr. Hillel´s nomination for
the World Food Prize contained letters of support from individuals
and organizations in Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.”
Dr. Hillel said on Tuesday that while he is pleased to be receiving
the award, the urgent work of providing water and food for humanity
is by no means finished.
“My joy and gratitude at being granted the World Food Prize this year
is tempered by the realization that the work this award recognizes is
far from complete,” he said.
“The task of improving the sustainable management of the Earth´s
finite and vulnerable soil, water, and energy resources for the
benefit of humanity while sustaining the natural biotic community and
its overall environmental integrity is an ongoing and increasingly
urgent challenge for our generation and for future generations.
Meeting this challenge will require enhanced global cooperation and
integrated scientific research.”
A native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Hillel moved at an early age
to Israel. He spent part of his childhood in the Jezreel and Jordan
Valleys, where he acquired a lifelong interest in agriculture and
In 1951, after earning a master´s degree in earth sciences at Rutgers
University in New Jersey, he went to Israel to help in the young
state´s development. He took part in surveying the country´s land and
water resources and was a founding member of Sde Boker in the Negev.
His research has led to a shift from what was then the prevailing
method of irrigation. The new methods conceived and developed by Dr.
Hillel applied water in small but continuous amounts directly to
plant roots, cutting the amount of water needed to nourish crops,
maintaining their consistent health and resulting in higher crop
yields to feed more people. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/13/12)
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