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XI. Annex E - Letter from Dr. Norman E. Borlaug


Londres 40, México 6, D. F.
Apdo. Postal 6-641

November 3rd, 1970

Dr. A.H. Boerma
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Italy

Dear Dr. Boerma:

Thank you for your kind telegram of October 23rd.

When the Nobel Committee awarded me the Nobel Peace Prize for 1970 it in effect awarded it to agriculture. The so-called Green Revolution is the result of a team effort involving many. It involved the efforts of a number of organizations, many government officials, scientists, educators and millions of farmers.

In this total effort your organization, FAO, played an important role. I was privileged to have been invited by FAO in March through May, 1960 to make a study of wheat production problems and potentials from Lybia to India. It was while making this survey, accompanying Drs. James Harrington and José Vallega, that it became apparent to me that little progress could be made in improving production without first training more young wheat scientists. Subsequently, the joint FAO-Rockefeller Foundation-CIMMYT practical wheat training program was established in Mexico. This activity trained many of the young scientists who are today playing vital roles in the Green Revolution in a number of countries.

Although considerable progress has been made in expanding food production in a number of hungry nations during the past three years, this is no time for complacency. We must continue to push production aggressively. We must continue to pressure governments of the developing countries to increase their support for agriculture. We must at the same time encourage governments from the developed world to continue to assist the developing countries with both financial and technical assistance. We must try to build a better image for agriculture so that increased numbers of talented young men and women will choose careers in agriculture. We must assist them to obtain fellowships and scholarships so that they can obtain training at the post-graduate University level. This is an enormous responsibility and undertaking, yet we must all collectively accept the continuing challenge and struggle on to produce more. If we hesitate or falter the monster rapid increase in population growth - will destroy the world.

I am convinced that those of us working with food and agriculture also must bring pressure on politicians, government officials, and the general public to face up to and tame the monster of population growth before it is too late.

I want you to know that it has always been a pleasure to work with FAO officials and scientists and we look forward to continued effective collaboration.

Norman E. Borlaug

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