American Experience, The Man Who Tried to Feed the World
Tuesday, April 21, at 8 p.m.
Repeats Wednesday, April 22, at 1 a.m.
Also airs on Fusion on Friday, April 24, at 8 p.m.
Learn the story of Norman Borlaug, an American agronomist who won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in fighting global hunger. By increasing the world’s food supply, Borlaug made it possible for the planet to support far more people than had been thought possible.
In 1944 Borlaug was recruited for a Rockefeller Foundation program designed to bring stability and prosperity to rural farmers in Mexico. The goal was to defeat stem rust, a disease that had plagued humankind for thousands of years and was now decimating Mexico’s wheat crop year after year. Once in Mexico,
Borlaug encountered the horror of real malnutrition for the first time, and he soon recast his mission. Rather than help peasant farmers in their struggles with nature, he decided to fight hunger directly by developing a radically new kind of wheat: disease-resistant, adaptable and incredibly productive.
Borlaug rescued India from a severe famine and led the “Green Revolution,” estimated to have saved 1 billion lives. But his work later faced great criticism.
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