Norman Borlaug


Norman Ernest Borlaug was an American agronomist and humanitarian who led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution.

The Green Revolution refers to a set of research and the development of technology transfer initiatives occurring between the 1930s and the late 1960s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, particularly in the developing world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s.

Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation.

Humanitarianism is a moral of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended to all human beings.

We’re All Gonna Starve! by Freethink


Borlaug was awarded multiple honors for his work, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal—the highest civilian award of the United States.


Borlaug received his B.Sc.


in Forestry in 1937 and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942.

Pathology is a significant component of the causal study of disease and a major field in modern medicine and diagnosis.

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Plant pathology is the scientific study of diseases in plants caused by pathogens and environmental conditions.


He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.

A disease is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism.

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic in the southern half of North America.

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food.


During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India.

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a federal parliamentary republic in South Asia.


As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963.


Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations.

Food security is a condition related to the supply of food, and individuals' access to it.


Borlaug was often called "the father of the Green Revolution", and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation.

Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake needed to maintain an organism's life.


According to Jan Douglas, executive assistant to the president of the World Food Prize Foundation, the source of this number is Gregg Easterbrook's 1997 article "Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity."

The World Food Prize is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

Gregg Edmund Easterbrook is an American writer and a contributing editor of both The New Republic and The Atlantic Monthly.


The article states that the "form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths."


He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

World peace, or peace on Earth, is the concept of an ideal state of happiness, freedom and peace within and among all people and nations on earth.


Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production in Asia and Africa.

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