The Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), in collaboration with the Iranian Society of Crop and Plant Breeding Sciences, celebrated the 100th anniversary year of the birth of Dr. Norman Borlaug in a Centennial Ceremony on 26 August in Karaj, Iran. Borlaug was the father of the Green Revolution and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work to improve food security.
Attendees included the president of the World Food Prize, the Iranian minister of agriculture and his deputies, the director general of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, policy-makers, university professors and students, researchers and scientists, as well as representatives of international delegations and non-governmental organizations.
Photo: Fatemeh Farshad
The presence of so many international delegations and Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, and his wife made the ceremony in Iran significant. The ceremony brought together men and women from different nations, of different skin colors, religions, cultures, ideologies and political opinions in one place, for the single objective to honor the legacy of Dr. Borlaug and to renew the fight against hunger and poverty. During his welcoming speech ABRII Director General Dr. Behzad Ghareyazie called this “the magic of Dr. Borlaug.”
Mahmoud Hojjati, the Minister of Agriculture of the Islamic Republic of Iran, spoke on Dr. Borlaug’s legacy and the most important challenges to Iranian agriculture. Jeanie Borlaug Laube, Dr. Borlaug’s daughter, sent a message that was read to the audience. A message sent by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the father of the Green Revolution of India, was read by Dr. Babak Nakhoda, the coordinator of the centennial program. The Borlaug Centennial Ceremony was scheduled to coincide with the 1st International and 13th Iranian Crop Science Congress. Dr. Dariush Mazaheri, convener of the Crop Science Congress, and Dr. Mohammad Reza Saeidabadi, secretary-general of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO also spoke at the event.
CIMMYT Director General Thomas Lumpkin, Hans Braun, director of the Global Wheat Program and Bruno Gerard, director of the Global Conservation Agriculture Program visited Iran earlier this year to discuss opportunities for further collaboration between the Center and the country’s agriculture sector. Representatives of the three CGIAR Centers – the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and International Rice Research Institute did attend, as well as representatives of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.
The Borlaug Centennial Ceremony in Iran brought together people from around the globe to celebrate Borlaug’s worldwide legacy.