DES MOINES, IOWA, U.S. — The 2014 World Food Prize was presented to Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Oct. 16 for his scientific research that led to a prodigious increase in world wheat production. His breakthrough breeding technologies have had a far-reaching and significant impact in providing more nutritious food around the globe and alleviating world hunger.

Rajaram is the former colleague of the prize’s founder Dr. Norman Borlaug and worked closely with Borlaug throughout his career in genetics and agricultural science.

“It is inspiring to see a wheat researcher awarded the 2014 World Food Prize. It is even more exciting to meet the young innovators and grower-leaders of tomorrow and see that the future of wheat research and Dr. Borlaug’s legacy is in good hands,” said National Association of Wheat Growers first vice-president Brett Blankenship, a wheat grower from Washtucna, Washington, U.S., who was in attendance the evening of the ceremony. “This has been a great year for advancing wheat, all around the world, and I believe that this next year will be even better.”

Thanks to wheat research breakthroughs, wheat is a staple food for people worldwide, accounting for 20% of the world’s caloric intake.

As a the winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug understood the value that a sustainable and flexible food supply played in ensuring peace for an increasingly populous world. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth. He is credited with sparking the Green Revolution and saving more than 1 billion people from starvation through his development of high yielding, semi-dwarf wheat.

Borlaug created the World Food Prize to honor future agricultural visionaries and heroes.