World Food Prize 2019

  • Date
    16.10.19 > 18.10.19
  • Location
    700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50309, United States

The World Food Prize, founded in 1986, honors the work of great agricultural scientists working to end hunger and improve the food supply and also to highlight and inspire breakthrough achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world, and which is now often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” The World Food Prize (WFP) will take place in October 16-18, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. This prestigious event, including the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue and the World Food Prize Laureate Award Presentation, is a unique opportunity to showcase how CGIAR science is tackling humanity’s greatest challenges and creating more sustainable food systems.

CGIAR and the World Food Prize have a long association, including:

  • In 2017, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and former CGIAR researcher, was awarded the World Food Prize;
  • In 2016, four CGIAR/CIP scientists, Dr. Maria Andrade, Dr. Robert Mwanga, Dr. Jan Low and Dr. Howarth Bouis, were awarded the World Food Prize, for their work on biofortification;
  • In 2014, one CGIAR/CIMMYT scientist, Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, was awarded the World Food Prize for his work that led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production;
  • In 2001, one CGIAR/IFPRI scientist, Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, was awarded the World Food Prize for his contribution to agricultural research, food policy, and uplifting the status of the poor;
  • In 2000, two CGIAR/CIMMYT scientists, Dr. Evangelina Villegas and Dr. Surinder Vasal, were awarded the World Food Prize for their work on productivity and nutritional content of maize;
  • CGIAR scientists from IITA and CIMMYT were awarded the Norman Borlaug Field Award in 2013 and 2014;
  • CIMMYT was awarded the Norman Borlaug Field Medallion in 2014.

In recognition of this year’s theme: Pax Agricultura: Peace Through Agriculture, CGIAR will participate in the following way:

1- Launch of the “Crops to End Hunger” Initiative – A CGIAR-led symposium

The challenge of CGIAR is to apply modern scientific advances toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” In service of this mission, CGIAR is proud to introduce “Crops to End Hunger,” an initiative focused on increasing the effectiveness of CGIAR crop breeding programs in developing more productive, resilient and nutritious varieties of staple crops in demand by smallholder farmers and consumers in the developing world. The official launch of “Crops to End Hunger” will introduce and outline this new ambitious vision to meet the food, nutrition and income needs of both producers and consumers, respond to market demands, and provide resilience to environmental challenges arising from the climate crisis.

Date, time and venue: Wednesday, October 16 – 4:15 to 5:05 PM, Iowa Ballroom


  • Simon Groot, Founder, East-West Seed, and 2019 World Food Prize Laureate
  • Rodger Voorhies, President, Global Growth and Opportunity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Neal Gutterson, Chief Technology Officer, Corteva Agriscience
  • Hon. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda
  • Felister Wambugha Makini, Deputy Director General Crops – Crops Division, KALRO, Kenya

Framing and moderationElwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization

2- Unpacking “Crops to End Hunger”, a CGIAR-led side-event in partnership with Corteva

    This CGIAR side-event in partnership with Corteva will open a dialogue with participants to learn more about “Crops to End Hunger”, the new initiative that will be officially launched in the CGIAR symposium at the Borlaug Dialogue. Continuing the discussion, this official side-event will provide deeper context and underline why the modernization and focus on crop breeding is crucial to help feed the world’s growing population in these times of climate crisis.

    Date, time and venue: Wednesday, October 16 – 7:00-8:30 PM, Council Bluffs Room

    If you are attending the Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines, get your tickets now!


    • Gary Atlin, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    • Geoff Graham, Head of Plant Breeding, Corteva Agriscience
    • Michael Quinn, Director, CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB)
    • Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID
    • Felister Wambugha Makini, Deputy Director General Crops – Crops Division, KALRO, Kenya

    Framing and moderation:

    • Framing/introduction: Martin Kropff, Director General, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
    • Moderation: Marco Ferroni, Chair, CGIAR System Management Board

    3- CGIAR participation in Corteva CEO Roundtable and Evening Reception

    Continuing the tradition of partnering with Corteva Agriscience at the World Food Prize, this year CGIAR is again committed to a participating in Corteva’s symposium as part of the CEO roundtable: a session to present the current state of food and agriculture, the desired future and discuss the gaps. The outcomes from this session will be shared later in the week during the Borlaug Dialogue.

    Date and time: Tuesday, October 15 – 10 AM-3 PM (plus evening reception)

    SpeakerElwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization

    4- CGIAR Exhibition Booth

    CGIAR will host an exhibition space, which will showcase how CGIAR is leading exciting groundbreaking transformative work in the field of agriculture innovation and food security. CGIAR will also present a video exhibition telling the story of CGIAR’s work through its researchers and projects in the field.