Indian Scientist Wins World Food Prize for Aquaculture
Dr. Modadugu v. Gupta honored for work to enhance nutrition for over one million people, mostly very poor women, through the expansion of aquaculture in South and Southeast Asia and Africa
An Indian scientist has been named winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize for his work to enhance nutrition for over one million people, mostly very poor women, through the expansion of aquaculture in South and Southeast Asia and Africa.
Dr. Modadugu v. Gupta’s name was announced by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation on June 10, 2005, at a ceremony at the U.S. State Department presided over by USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios and Acting Undersecretary of State E. Anthony Wayne.
In making the announcement, Ambassador Quinn indicated that Dr. Gupta had been selected for this honor based on his work over three decades at the World Fish Center, a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) of the World Bank. “Through his dedicated and sustained efforts in Bangladesh, Laos and other countries in Southeast Asia , Dr. Gupta made small scale aquaculture a viable means for over one million very poor farmers and women to improve their family’s nutrition and wellbeing,” Ambassador Quinn stated. As a result of Dr. Gupta’s efforts, freshwater fish production has risen dramatically in these countries by as much as three to five times, he added.
The Ambassador explained that Dr. Gupta developed unique methods of fish farming, requiring little cost while causing no environmental damage. As a result, landless farmers and poor women have turned a million abandoned pools, roadside ditches, seasonally flooded fields and other bodies of water into mini-factories churning out fish for food and income. Keen to duplicate the success achieved in Asia, Dr. Gupta is working with a growing number of African countries to implement similar measures.
“Dr. Gupta is truly deserving of receiving the World Food Prize—the foremost international award for increasing the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world—for his achievements in bringing the Blue Revolution to those most in need,” Ambassador Quinn concluded. Dr. Gupta is the sixth citizen of India to receive the World Food Prize since it was established in 1986. Previous recipients include : Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, 1987; Dr. Verghese Kurien, 1989; Dr. Gurdev Khush, 1996; B.R. Barwale, 1998 and Dr. Surinder K. Vasal, 2000.
The World Food Prize will be formally presented to Dr. Gupta at a ceremony on October 13, 2005 in the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines. The ceremony will be held as part of the World Food Prize International Symposium, which will focus on the Twin Global Challenges of Malnutrition and Obesity and Overnutrition.