Sept. 17, 2010
Dr. Gurdev Khush, a world-renowned agronomist credited with developing the most widely planted food crop ever grown, will present a lecture on global food security issues at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, at Morningside College.
Khush’s lecture will focus on the challenges science and society face in feeding a world population expected to grow to eight billion by the year 2030. The lecture, which is open to the public, will take place in the Yockey Family Community Room in Morningside’s Olsen Student Center, 3609 Peters Ave.
In 1996, Khush received the World Food Prize for his work in enlarging and improving the world’s rice supply during a time of exponential population increases in Asia, Africa and Latin America. As the head of the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) plant breeding program, he played a key role in the development of more than 300 rice strains. One of the rice varieties, IR36, is the most widely planted food crop ever grown. More than 27 million acres of IR36 are now planted worldwide, according to the IRRI.
Khush, currently an adjunct professor at the University of California-Davis, has been honored around the world for his work and now consults for over 15 national governments, including India, China and Russia. He continues to consult for various research programs to increase the productivity of food crops.
Khush will be in Iowa to attend the World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium in Des Moines October 13 through 15. Each year, the symposium brings experts from around the world to Iowa to discuss agriculture and global development issues.
“Morningside is fortunate to be one of 10 colleges and universities in Iowa selected to host a lecture by experts attending this year’s World Food Prize symposium,” said Morningside President John Reynders. “I’m certain that Dr. Khush’s remarks will challenge our students and community residents to think more broadly about global food security issues.”
The World Food Prize was created in 1986 to recognize the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, an Iowa native and recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in world agriculture. In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of the prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines.