The Iowa-based World Food Prize Foundation has announced its 2020 laureate, a man who has dedicated his career to understanding the critical role of preserving and nurturing the soil.
Rattan Lal grew up in India, worked in Nigeria, and is a longtime professor at Ohio State University. World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson applauds Lal’s work. Stinson says, “He researched and transformed techniques such as no-till, cover cropping, mulching and agroforestry that protected the soil from the elements and returned nutrients, carbon and organic matter to the soil.”
Lal has worked as a soil scientist on four continents during his five-decade career and founded the Carbon Management & Sequestration Center. At Ohio State, Stinson says Lal has focused on strategies to protect the soil in tropical agro-ecosystems.
“This individual is recognized for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change,” Stinson says. Lal becomes the 50th World Food Prize Laureate.
The laureate award ceremony that’s typically held in Des Moines in October will likely have to be modified because of COVID-19.
(By Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)