Father of the «green revolution» (the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug)

  • А. І. Опалко


Aims. To find out the sources of the formation and development of a personality of Norman E. Borlaug as one of the most outstanding figures of the XX century whose efforts prevented famine for over three billion people on our planet. Methods. To do the research, a biographic method of studying an individual way and life experience was used. The data, received as a result of analyzing available publications presented by the scholars of various scientific schools in different countries, was generalized with help of a group selection method; using quotation criteria this made it possible to prioritize the researches carried out according to international programs and to put aside some doubtful articles. Results. It was established that Norman Borlaug’s extraordinary character resulted from labor education in the family, and was very much influenced by school teachers and university professors. Further, he «made himself». Emphasizing an exceptional significance of the radical changes, which took place in agriculture of the developing countries in 40–70 ties of the last century, for world economy in general and for the solution of food problems in particular, the then head of the USAID William Gaud (William Gaud, 1968) called them the «green revolution». High appraisal of Norman Borlaug’s personal contribution to the modernization of world agriculture was confirmed by awarding him with Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and by celebrating his 100th anniversary, as an outstanding scientist and founder of biological and agrarian science, in scientific societies and world community, including those in Ukraine. In the biography of Norman Borlaug, as he was a famous scientist and a first-rate organizer to introduce researches into world agricultural production, four major periods were classified: becoming a scientist; grounds of the «green revolution»; triumph of the «green revolution»; initiation of a new wave of the «green revolution». Conclusions. Norman Borlaug’s biography, as a realization of «an American dream of equal possibilities», can be an example to follow for the scientists of every country. Impartial attitude to people of different nationalities, skin color, religion and political beliefs – without any signs of xenophobia, keen sense of a novelty and useful ideas for mankind, deep understanding that the best scientific discovery would be useless without proper efforts for its introduction combined with titanic hard work and persistence – all this resulted in the scientist’s success and he will always be associated with the name of the Father of the «green revolution». The world dissemination of biotechnological/biotech crops supported by Norman Borlaug can be considered as current biotechnological translation of his idea to fight famine – a new wave of the «green revolution».

Key words: anthropoadaptability, agricultural development, biotech crops, food production, Nobel Peace Prize, plant breeding, plant pathology, short-strawed disease resistant wheat.