2012 World Food Prize: Dr. Daniel Hillel

This year’s World Food Prize goes to Dr Daniel Hillel for water management innovation

The 2012 World Food Prize, the foremost international award recognizing individuals who have contributed landmark achievements in increasing the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world, will be presented to Israeli scientist Dr. Daniel Hillel for his conception and implementation of a radically new mode of bringing water to crops in arid and dry land regions known as “micro-irrigation.”

Dr. Hillel’s pioneering work has revolutionized food production over the past five decades, beginning in the Middle East and then in other regions around the world. His research focuses on maximizing efficient water usage in agriculture, increasing crop yields, and minimizing environmental degradation.

Amb. Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, commended not only Dr. Hillel’s scientific achievement but also his dedication to working with people across borders to help improve food security for all. Dr. Hillel’s water management concepts – promoted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization – are now used on more than 6 million hectares worldwide.

Dr. Hillel, while humbled by the recognition, says his work is far from complete. “Meeting this challenge will require enhanced global cooperation and integrated scientific research,” he says in a press release.

The recipient, announced last month in a ceremony at U.S. State Department, at which Hilary Clinton was the keynote speaker, will be formally presented with the $250,000 award in October.