The 2011 laureates of the World Food Prize
were announced at a ceremony held the U.S. Department of State. For the first time, the prize was awarded to two former heads of state: John Agyekum Kufuor
, former president of Ghana (left), and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
, former president of Brazil (right).
The two were honored for their personal commitment and visionary leadership while serving as presidents of their country in creating and implementing government policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries.
A guiding principle for President John Kufuor during the entirety of his two terms as president was to improve food security and reduce poverty through public- and private-sector initiatives. To that end, he implemented major economic and educational policies that increased the quality and quantity of food to Ghanaians, enhanced farmers’ incomes, and improved school attendance and child nutrition through a nationwide feeding program....
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made it clear even before he took office that fighting hunger and poverty would be a top priority of his government. He called upon all elements of Brazilian society to embrace his goal to ensure three meals a day for all citizens, to alleviate poverty, to enhance educational opportunities for children, and to provide greater inclusion of the poor in society.
The World Food Prize
was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1986, the World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.
Hosting the event at the State Department
were USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs Robert Hormats. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also spoke at the event.
In his remarks, USAID Administrator Shah announced
Feed the Future's "Borlaug 21st Century Leadership" program, a $32.5 million investment to help shape the next generation of leaders in agriculture. This program will provide mentoring and training opportunities for agriculture professionals across the globe and will help institutions strengthen their agriculture systems and best practices to serve as premier learning institutions.