By Laura Reynolds
The World Food Prize Foundation announced this morning that Dr. Daniel Hillel of Israel will receive the 2012 prize, for his work in improving irrigation techniques in arid regions. The announcement was made at the World Food Prize Laureate announcement ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Hillel was honored for his work in microirrigation, an innovative irrigation method that applies water in small, continuous amounts directly to plants. Many traditional methods of irrigation, including soaking fields during a region’s wet season and allowing them to dry out during the arid season, are relatively inefficient in both crop productivity and water conservation.
The food prize council also recognized Dr. Hillel’s commitment to intercultural understanding and collaboration; he has worked to spread his irrigation technique to farmers in 30 countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Sudan, and Palestinian communities.
The 2012 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue, at which Dr. Hillel will officially receive the Prize, will take place in Des Moines, Iowa from October 17 to 19.