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Norman Borlaug Quotes


An American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution".
(1914 - 2009)

Almost certainly, however, the first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.
 

Cereal production in the rain-fed areas still remains relatively unaffected by the impact of the green revolution, but significant change and progress are now becoming evident in several countries.
 

Civilization as it is known today could not have evolved, nor can it survive, without an adequate food supply.
 

Contrasting sharply, in the developing countries represented by India, Pakistan, and most of the countries in Asia and Africa, seventy to eighty percent of the population is engaged in agriculture, mostly at the subsistence level.
 

During the past three years spectacular progress has been made in increasing wheat, rice, and maize production in several of the most populous developing countries of southern Asia, where widespread famine appeared inevitable only five years ago.
 

Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world.
 

For, behind the scenes, halfway around the world in Mexico, were two decades of aggressive research on wheat that not only enabled Mexico to become self-sufficient with respect to wheat production but also paved the way to rapid increase in its production in other countries.
 

I am but one member of a vast team made up of many organizations, officials, thousands of scientists, and millions of farmers - mostly small and humble - who for many years have been fighting a quiet, oftentimes losing war on the food production front.
 

Man can and must prevent the tragedy of famine in the future instead of merely trying with pious regret to salvage the human wreckage of the famine, as he has so often done in the past.
 

Man seems to insist on ignoring the lessons available from history.
 

Man's survival, from the time of Adam and Eve until the invention of agriculture, must have been precarious because of his inability to ensure his food supply.
 

Nevertheless, the number of farmers, small as well as large, who are adopting the new seeds and new technology is increasing very rapidly, and the increase in numbers during the past three years has been phenomenal.
 

Plant diseases, drought, desolation, despair were recurrent catastrophes during the ages - and the ancient remedies: supplications to supernatural spirits or gods.
 

The destiny of world civilization depends upon providing a decent standard of living for all mankind.
 

The forgotten world is made up primarily of the developing nations, where most of the people, comprising more than fifty percent of the total world population, live in poverty, with hunger as a constant companion and fear of famine a continual menace.
 

The green revolution has an entirely different meaning to most people in the affluent nations of the privileged world than to those in the developing nations of the forgotten world.
 

There are no miracles in agricultural production.
 

Therefore I feel that the aforementioned guiding principle must be modified to read: If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace.
 

Without food, man can live at most but a few weeks; without it, all other components of social justice are meaningless.
 

Yet food is something that is taken for granted by most world leaders despite the fact that more than half of the population of the world is hungry.