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AGRICULTURE REPORT – September 11, 2001: World Food Prize - 2001-09-10

This is the VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT.

Per (PARE) Pinstrup-Andersen of Denmark has won the World Food Prize for this year. The prize will be presented next month at a ceremony in the American city of Des Moines, Iowa. Mister Pinstrup-Andersen will receive the award and two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars.

The World Food Prize honors people who have improved the quality of world food supplies. The World Food Prize Foundation says it chose Mister Pinstrup-Andersen for his work in agricultural research and food policy. It praised him for helping to improve the condition of poor and starving people around the world.

Mister Pinstrup-Andersen grew up on a farm in Denmark. He studied farm economics in Denmark and the United States. He is director-general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D-C. The institute is one of sixteen centers supported by international aid.

In the past, most winners of the World Food Prize were recognized for scientific work in food production technology. Mister Pinstrup-Andersen believes his award this year shows a new public understanding. He says it shows that the world needs both technology and good food policy to solve the problems facing poor people.

Under his leadership, the International Food Policy Research Institute has published a series of policy papers. These reports urge government leaders and policy makers to help the world’s poor and hungry people. The World Food Prize Committee praised the reports for providing support for policy changes.

Mister Pinstrup-Andersen believes that the reports have helped increase public understanding of the causes of poverty and hunger. He says their main purpose is to show the huge amount of human suffering and economic waste linked to hunger and poor use of natural resources.

The World Food Prize winner also is a leading supporter of expanded school feeding programs in developing countries. He notes that hundreds of millions of children do not get enough to eat.

Some environmental activists have criticized Mister Pinstrup-Andersen for his support of genetically-engineered crops. He thinks such crops could help meet growing world demands for food.

This VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT was written by George Grow.