Israeli-American Scientist Daniel Hillel Wins 2012 World Food Prize

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Israeli-American scientist Daniel Hillel today was named winner of the 2012 World Food Prize.

At DC, Hillel was honored for his work to bring water to crops in dry-land regions which 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.

The “micro-irrigation” system Hillel developed carries water through narrow plastic pipes to plants, where it drips or trickles onto the roots in a continuous way.

hillel
Daniel Hillel.

Secretary Clinton said today’s farmers using micro-irrigation produce high-yield, nutritious crops on more than 6 million hectares worldwide.

Ms. Clinton commended Hillel’s work, saying it is in step with her goals and 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.”

World Food Prize Foundation President and former U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Kenneth M. Quinn today announced Mr. Hillel as the winner.

Mr. Quinn recognized not only Hillel’s scientific achievement but also his dedication to working across borders to increase food.

“Confronting hunger can bring diverse people together across even the broadest political, ethnic, religious or diplomatic differences.” -Mr. Quinn

Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Kerri-Ann Jones hosted the ceremony.

This is the 26th anniversary of the World Food Prize which includes an award of $250,000. More than 4,000 organizations worldwide are invited to nominate candidates.

Hillel’s nomination is widely backed by Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

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.

A biography of Hillel is at www.worldfoodprize.org/laureate [ http://www.worldfoodprize.org/laureate ]. Video clips from the ceremony, at www.stateondemand.state.gov [ http://www.stateondemand.state.gov/ ]. Hillel can be reached in Israel by dialing country code 972, then 4639-6738 or 4639-0845 or via email at [email protected]

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