Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
October 23, 1998

World Food Prize goes to Indian entrepreneur

by Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information

An entrepreneur from India was awarded the 12th annual World Food Prize Oct. 15 in Des Moines.

B.R. Barwale, the founder and chairman of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co., was honored.

ISU Seed Science Center director Manjit Misra, a native of India who has followed Barwale's career, said, "He understood the importance of high-quality seed to improve India's food supply and he developed a huge production and distribution network to get quality seeds to India's farmers."

Barwale's company, which now produces more than 300 hybrid crop varieties, is considered a model of the success the private-sector seed industry has had in improving India's economy and food supply.

Iowa State design professors Brenda Jones and John Weinkein and 15 of their students were recognized at the award ceremony for painting two 20-by-24-foot banners illustrating Barwale's achievements. The muslin banners were displayed on the stage of the civic center for the ceremony and in the Marriott Hotel atrium the next day during the prize's symposium.

The College of Agriculture is the secretariat for the World Food Prize, which honors individuals who have made important contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. The $250,000 prize is sponsored by Des Moines businessman John Ruan.

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