The importance of Norman Borlaug in people’s lives

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Borlaug saved millions of people from hunger. This is his story

Norman Borlaug, of the Rockefeller Foundation, was trying to produce wheat that could resist stem rust (a disease that ruined many crops). When he found out about the serious situation of the fields, he tried to plan a harvest which would allow him to sow in the fall and spring, and perhaps harvest different varieties of wheat.

In the South, where Borlaug was supposed to settle, crops were sown in the spring and harvested in the fall. Borlaug planned to exploit a different climate that would also allow him to sow in the fall and harvest in the spring, and perhaps harvest different varieties of wheat.

The Foundation did not have permission to work in the region, so he could not be there. But he was determined to face the scourge of hunger, something he had seen firsthand. «I am the worst product of The Great Depression» he said.

In The Population Bomb it was observed that in countries like India and Pakistan, population grew faster than food production. In 1970s it was predicted that millions of people were going to starve

Later, Norman Borlaug would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for the years between Mexico City and the Yaqui Valley, growing thousands of types of wheat, and carefully observing its features: this type resisted a type of rust on the stem, produced good yields, but made bad bread. Thousands of people could eat this to stay alive 

By the 1960s, Borlaug was traveling around the world to spread the word about his wheat. He said that it was not easy. He helped loads of countries like Pakistan, India, Africa… But even so, concerns about overpopulation never quite go away.


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