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WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2005 – Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that 10 agricultural scientists from Central America have arrived in the United States for training under the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program.

"This is the first time that Borlaug fellows from Central America have come to the United States for scientific training at our land-grant universities and research facilities," said Johanns. "When these scientists return to their countries, their newly gained knowledge will help to promote food security, raise agricultural productivity and create economic growth in the region. This training will also enhance support for local authorities in the development of regulatory frameworks that are consistent with international guidelines for the safe trade in agricultural products."

The Borlaug Fellowship Program helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing short-term scientific training and collaborative research opportunities to visiting researchers, policymakers and university faculty while they work with a mentor. The program targets developing countries and places participants at land-grant universities and 1890's colleges, government agencies, international research centers and other nonprofit institutions and private companies.

USDA worked in conjunction with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica to identify these 10 Borlaug fellows that represent some of the best research scientists in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The Borlaug Fellowship Program was launched in March 2004 in honor of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who has often been hailed as the father of the Green Revolution. In 1970, Dr. Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize for his success in developing high-yielding wheat varieties and reversing severe food shortages that haunted India and Pakistan in the 1960's. Credited with saving millions of lives, his work virtually eliminated recurring famines in South Asia and helped global food production outpace population growth.

The program is open to participants worldwide, but focuses on African, South and Central American and Asian nations. The program is administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of State.

For more information about the Borlaug Fellowship Program, go to


Release No. 0298.05
FAS PR 0119-05

USDA Contact: Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623
FAS Contact: Linda Habenstreit (202) 720-9442

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