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USDA ANNOUNCES FIRST VISIT OF BORLAUG SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FELLOWS

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2004 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today welcomed the arrival of 33 Norman E. Borlaug science and technology fellows to the United States, the first visit of Borlaug fellows since launching the international science and technology training program earlier this year.

"The Department of Agriculture is committed to promoting the transfer and adoption of new technologies to improve global food availability," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "Through this innovative program, international participants will have an opportunity to learn the latest in science and technology, which will help developing countries raise agricultural productivity, improve food processing and marketing and address global hunger and poverty."

Last March, Veneman announced the establishment of the Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows Program to help developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing U.S.-based short-term scientific training to visiting researchers, policymakers and university faculty. The program targets developing countries and places participants at land grant and 1890’s colleges and universities, government agencies, international research centers and other nonprofit institutions and private companies.

The visiting Borlaug fellows will meet with USDA officials prior to traveling to their respective institutions for training at Texas A&M, Iowa State and Cornell Universities, where they will study agricultural production, processing, marketing and policies that support global food security and trade.

The program is open to participants worldwide but focuses on African, South American and Asian nations. Twenty-four of the 33 Borlaug fellows are visiting from Serbia-Montenegro, six from Bulgaria and three from Ghana, West Africa. Current plans are to place about 100 fellows from developing countries in the program.

Often hailed as the father of the Green Revolution, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 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.

In his speech at the Ministerial Conference on Agricultural Science and Technology, hosted by Secretary Veneman in Sacramento last summer, Dr. Borlaug challenged government leaders to commit to efforts to accelerate the transfer of agricultural and food technologies to the developing world.

The Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows Program is administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, land grant colleges and Texas A&M University, where Borlaug is professor emeritus.

For more information, contact Carol Kramer-Le Blanc at (202) 690-4872, or by e-mail at Carol.Kramer-leblanc@fas.usda.gov

Julie Quick (202) 720-4623

John Rice (202) 720-9445

 

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