Sir Fazle Hasan Abed accepted the World Food Prize Thursday night.
Heralded by buglers as he entered the Iowa state capitol building’s chandelier-lit house chamber, Abed was greeted by an assembly of World Food Prize laureates who paid their respects to the diminutive founder and chair of the world’s largest nonprofit organization, BRAC.
Adding to the dignified atmosphere, Abed’s favorite Bangladeshi musician, who traveled to Des Moines in secret, honored him with a surprise performance.
A recognition many consider the “Nobel prize of food and agriculture,” the World Food Prize honors an individual who has “advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.” It is the brainchild of the late Norman Borlaug, the near-mythic American scientist who pioneered high-yield wheat and, according to admirers, saved a billion lives in the process.
Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.
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