For families in developing countries, a successful harvest is the difference between opportunity and upheaval. That’s because crops like wheat and rice are a staple in most diets around the world, and in developing countries are the primary sources of nutrition. For many farmers in developing countries, their harvest is often the only source of food and/or income. When a crop fails, it puts their families and their communities in peril. Taking science to the field is essential to ensuring good harvests. Well-trained scientists improve crops to lift families out of poverty and provide hope for the future. Our scientists are prepared and inspired to make an impact for farmers in their home communities. They return to their countries to not only make a difference in plant improvement but also to serve as leaders in agriculture in their countries. They are Hunger Fighters. They become part of a network of plant scientists around the world, who they remain friends with and work with for many years across borders. In our training programs, they learn how to value other cultures, break barriers, and appreciate diversity.
These scientists need comprehensive training, but funding for field-oriented, practical training has declined over the last few decades. Farmers face new challenges every year, and training for crop scientists needs to evolve to keep up with those challenges. The Borlaug Training Foundation advocates for keeping crop improvement training up to date and impactful.