June 13, 2020

Indian-American soil scientist Rattan Lal has been named this year's recipient of the World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.


  • Objective: The World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

  • Fields covered: It recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply such as plant, animal and soil science; nutrition; rural development; marketing; food processing and packaging; water and the environment; physical infrastructure; policy analysis etc.

  • Eligibility: The prize is open to every individual without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs.

  • Presented by: World Food Prize Foundation, with various sponsor companies.

  • Background: The prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in global agriculture. The Prize was created in 1986 and was first awarded in 1987 with M. S. Swaminathan of India being the first recipient.

  • Ceremony: The annual award is presented each October on or around UN World Food Day (October 16).

  • Cash prize: In addition to the cash award of $250,000, the Laureate receives a sculpture designed by the noted artist and designer, Saul Bass.