The man who is credited with starting the Green Revolution has died. Norman Borlaug, 95 and a resident of Dallas, passed away Saturday evening. “In the early 1960s Prof Borlaug realised that creating short-stemmed varieties would leave food plants more energy for growing larger heads of grain,” the BBC reported. “His high-yield, disease-resistant dwarf wheat quickly boosted harvests in Latin America, and his techniques were particularly successful in South Asia, where famine was widespread. Analysts believe the Green Revolution helped avert a worldwide famine in the late 20th century.” Borlaug won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work.
Borlaug was born in Iowa —”I was born out of the soil of Howard County,” he said. ”It was that black soil of the Great Depression that led me to a career in agriculture” — and was a professor at Texas A&M University. He did much of his work when he organized and directed the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico. He remained concerned with food and food production until he died. “We all eat at least three times a day in privileged nations, and yet we take food for granted,” Borlaug said in a recent interview. “There has been great progress, and food is more equitably distributed. But hunger is commonplace, and famine appears all too often.”
At a conference in the Philippines in 2006 he said: “We still have a large number of miserable, hungry people and this contributes to world instability. Human misery is explosive, and you better not forget that.”