Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the keynote address at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State on June 12, where Daniel Hillel, a scientist born in the United States and raised in Israel, was named winner of the 2012 World Food Prize.
Hillel’s work to bring water to crops in dry-land regions revolutionized food production, first in the Middle East and then around the world over the past five decades. Hillel developed what is called “micro-irrigation,” which reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate crops while improving agricultural yields.
Secretary Clinton said, “Today, farmers using micro-irrigation produce high-yield, nutritious crops on more than 6 million hectares worldwide.” Hillel’s work is in step with her goals, she said, noting that the department’s Feed the Future initiative focuses on “spurring innovation and finding ways to do more with less and deliver results to people in need.”
This is the 26th anniversary of the World Food Prize, which includes an award of $250,000. The award will be formally presented to Hillel, a citizen of the U.S. and Israel who splits his time between the two countries, at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, on October 18, 2012.