El hombre que salvó billones de vidas

22.09.2009 @ 19:04 \07\Tue, 22 Sep 2009 19:04:50 +0000\50 +0000 UTC

Se llamaba Norman Borlaug. De descendencia noruega y nacido en Iowa, fue el “creador” de un tipo de semillas de trigo resistentes a las plagas y demás infecciones. Lo logró igualmente con el arroz. Fue ganador del premio Nóbel de la paz en 1970

A él se le atribuye el hecho, o más bien, la ausencia del hecho de que no haya habido una crisis de hambre a nivel mundial

Borlaug had developed a new variety of wheat that was resistant to disease and infestation: by the 1960s, it was producing up to three times more grain than traditional species. This, and his later introduction of high-yield rice in Asian countries, are credited with averting a predicted international crisis in food production that would have starved an estimated one billion people worldwide.

Hizo sus pininos en México

In 1944, George Harrar, plant pathologist and the head of a new Mexican plant breeding research programme, and Dr Frank Hanson, an official of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, invited Borlaug to leave his wartime laboratory job as a microbiologist with chemical and weapons company Dupont to go to Mexico and help poor farmers increase their wheat production.

It was highly demanding work. Borlaug and his assistants made 6,000 individual crossings of wheat, and by 1954 had successfully bred what became known as “miracle seeds” of high-yielding dwarf varieties. The new seeds did not in themselves produce greater yields, but were highly responsive to chemical fertilisers and other inputs.

By 1956 his disease-resistant varieties had helped Mexico double its wheat production and, for the first time, become self-sufficient in grain. By 1963, 95% of Mexico’s wheat crops used the semi-dwarf varieties developed by Borlaug, and the harvest was six times larger than in 1944.

Descanse en paz.

Vía The Guardian



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