September 22, 2023


Qualified food specialists

2021 World Food Prize symposium will be virtual amid COVID concerns

2 min read

With participants coming from 65 countries, the World Food Prize Foundation said it would hold its symposium virtually this year, given growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus delta variant.

The Des Moines nonprofit said it wants to protect “our speakers, participants and staff.” The event, which attracts hundreds of people to the capital city each October, also was held virtually last year because of concerns about COVID-19. 

In addition, the ongoing public health emergency has placed restrictions on international travel.

Guests arrive for the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony at Iowa State Capitol Building Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.

The three-day symposium is named after Norman Borlaug, the late Iowa native who started the World Food Prize in 1986. The foundation each year awards $250,000 to a scientist, individual or group worldwide that increase the quantity, quality or availability of food.

This year, the foundation is honoring Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, the first woman of Asian heritage to win the World Food Prize. The Trinidad native is being recognized for research she conducted establishing the nutritional importance of tiny, commonly found fish that villagers in many parts of the world can raise inexpensively in ponds and impoundments such as rice paddies.

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