Research and improved productivity are essential for an African Green Revolution. (Photo: J. Ree)
On Monday, Riz speaks with two people who have played a role in this "green revolution." Norman Borlaug is known as "the father of the Green Revolution," and is often credited with saving over a billion people from starvation. Ever since the middle of the last century, the agricultural scientist has been working on developing high-yielding varieties of seeds. He led the introduction of high-yield wheat varieties in Mexico, Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security there during the '60s. Later he turned his attention to Asia and Africa as well. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

And Josephine Okot is an Ugandan entrepreneur who founded Victoria Seeds in 2003. From humble beginnings with four staff members, her company now has $2 million in annual sales and employs about 70 people. Her company markets over 55 seed varieties to farmers in Uganda. She is the recipient of the 2007 Yara Prize for an African Green Revolution. The prize, which carries a $100,000 cash award, recognizes Okot as an "outstanding example of a new generation of African entrepreneurs who are willing to take risks, take the lead and break new ground within African agriculture and food security."

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This episode aired on Monday 24th September 2007.


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