World Food Prize goes to two who helped protect vital seeds in an Arctic Circle vault

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two men who were instrumental in creating a global seed vault designed to safeguard the world’s agricultural diversity will be honored as the 2024 World Food Prize laureates.

Officials announced Thursday that the prize will go to Cary Fowler and Geoffrey Hawtin. Fowler is the U.S. special envoy for Global Food Security, and Hawtin is an agricultural scientist and executive board member at the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

They will be awarded the annual prize this fall and will split a $500,000 award.

Secretary or State Antony Blinken lauded the men for their “critical role in preserving crop diversity.”

The World Food Prize was founded by Norman Borlaug, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his part in the Green Revolution, which dramatically increased crop yields and reduced the threat of starvation in many countries.

The food prize will be awarded at the annual Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue, held Oct. 29-31 in Des Moines.