|Food and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 17, Number 2, 1996 (UNU, 1996, 91 pages)|
1995 World Food Prize
The 1995 World Food Prize was awarded to Dr. Hans R. Herren, a Swiss-born entomologist who led a dramatic and highly successful effort to rescue one of Africa's most important food crops from a pest that threatened its total destruction, and in the process averted widespread famine that might have cost millions of Africans their lives.
In 1979 Dr. Herren joined the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria. When he arrived in Africa as a young scientist, he was immediately confronted by a looming crisis that threatened to destroy a key source of the food consumed by 200 million people: the cassava plant. Cassava is by far the most important root crop grown in the tropics and is a dietary staple in many African countries. In the early 1970s the cassava mealybug, Phenacocus manihoti, was brought to Africa. It thrived because it had no natural enemies, and by the late 1970s the pest was destroying as much as 80% of the cassava crop in some areas and was spreading rapidly. The prospect of widespread famine and economic and environmental calamity loomed large.
Dr. Herren's team identified a tiny wasp, Elpidinocarsis lopezi, in Paraguay that proved to be the mealybug's predator. Eventually he persuaded donor agencies in Canada and Europe to put up $20 million over 12 years. However, he did not need 12 years to demonstrate the results. Within five months, the wasps had spread as far as 120 miles from their release point, reducing mealybug populations below damaging levels. At the end of seven years, the wasps had brought the mealybug problem under control in 30 nations.
The World Food Prize emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. By honouring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, the World Food Prize calls attention to what can be accomplished in the future.
The Prize recognizes achievements in any field involved in the world food supply, including food and agricultural science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, political leadership, the social sciences, and other related fields.
The Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Nutrition, Food Technology, Agrobiotechnology and Health Sciences in Wageningen, Netherlands, in cooperation with the United Nations University, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the International Union of Nutritional Sciences, announce the third International Graduate Course on Production and Use of Food Composition Data in Nutrition. The course, which is directed by Professor D. A. T. Southgate and Professor C. E. West, will be held in Wageningen, Netherlands, 30 September-18 October 1996. It is intended for those involved in nutritional database programmes as analysts, compilers, or users and will be of value to those teaching nutrition and nutritional aspects of food chemistry.
The aim of the course is to show how those involved in the production of analytical data for nutrients in foods and the compilation of these data into food composition tables and nutritional databases contribute to the quality and usefulness of these compilations in nutrition. The course will be based on the philosophy that the preparation of nutritional databases requires close understanding of the needs of the users by both the compilers and the producers of analytical data. The course will show how this understanding can be achieved and what are the benefits that flow from the collaboration of users, analysts, and compilers. Stages in the production of a nutrient database will be examined.
The course will consist of lectures, seminars, and group work. The course fee is Dfl 6,500, which includes a nonrefundable deposit of Dfl 650. The fee covers accommodation and meals at the Wageningen International Congress Centre, course materials, tuition fees, and excursions. The closing date for applications is 1 July 1996.
Further information can be obtained from Mrs. L. Duym, Secretariat FoodComp '96, Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, P. O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, Netherlands; telephone +31317-483054, telefax +31-317483342, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A course in Quality Assurance and Marketing in Food Processing Enterprises will be held 11 August-16 November 1996. A course in Food Fortification for the Elimination of Micronutrient Malnutrition will be held 6 October-16 November 1996. For information on these courses, contact the International Agriculture Centre, P. O. Box 88, 6700 AB Wageningen, Netherlands; fax +31-317-418552.
The annual meeting of the European Academy of Nutritional Sciences (formerly the Group of European Nutritionists) on the role of trace elements in health promotion and disease prevention will be held 22-24 August 1996 in Copenhagen, Denmark. For information contact the Congress Secretariat, The European Academy of Nutritional Sciences, c/o Conventum Congress Service, Hauchsvej 14, DK-1825 Frederiksberg C, Denmark; telephone +45-3131-0847, fax +45-3131-0614.