Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh is this year’s World Food Prize winner. The $250,000 award recognizes individuals who improve the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Sir Fazle founded the development organization BRAC, headquartered in Bangladesh with programs in 10 other countries around the world. Created over 40 years ago, BRAC’s programs have helped nearly 150 million people to improve their lives and move out of poverty. Dr. Paul Collier, professor of Economics at Oxford University, called BRAC “the most astounding social enterprise in the world.”

BRAC runs many financially and socially profitable enterprises, involving health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, education and more. The objectives of BRAC’s agriculture and food security program are to increase crop and livestock production while focusing on environmental sustainability, adaptability to climate change, and affordability for marginal and small farmers. Improved technologies are taken to the poor farmers, and the experience of the farmers is brought back to the laboratories, in a continual cycle of innovation. Sir Fazle said, “Only by putting the poorest, and women in particular, in charge of their own destinies, will absolute poverty and deprivation be removed from the face of the earth.”