This past week at the World Food Prize, I had the privilege of meeting Hunger Fighters of the past and future. This is a unique global forum that honors those who have contributed to humanity by following in the footsteps of Norman Borlaug to serve with passion, compassion and humility. There is a distinct feeling of innovation, partnerships and interdisciplinary teams – all coming together to improve the lives of farm families around the globe and to ensure safe, nutritious and accessible food for all.
This year that honor went to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (standing next to me in the photo along with Dr. Kush the famous IRRI Rice Breeder), the founder of BRAC who nurtured the organization, staff and the people they serve, especially women and girls, to empower them to realize their full potential.
Starting off in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC now operates in other parts of Asia and Africa, replicating its model of microfinance and empowerment, including helping the ultra-poor. I had the privilege of interacting with Sir Fazle recently at the Gates Foundation and was able to talk with him about collaboration with ICRISAT both in Africa and Asia. Sir Fazle is truly an inspiration to us all.