Noting that "Dr. Borlaug believed in science," Quinn said a panel discussion on biotechnology was planned this week because food production may depend on it as climate change brings more cycles of drought and flooding.
Ironically, while the protesters and some panels will focus on biotechnology and other facets of agribusiness, the winner of this year's prize is being celebrated for low-tech work.
Israeli scientist Daniel Hillel, 81, helped develop drip irrigation methods that conserve water while allowing food to be grown in some of the world's driest climates. The system Hillel developed, called micro-irrigation, carries water through narrow plastic pipes to plants, where it trickles continuously onto the roots. Over decades, it has dramatically improved farm production and helped thousands of Jewish and Muslim farmers.
Like some of those protesting the prize, Hillel has been concerned with preserving natural resources.
"We need to learn how to manage land so that it will not degrade and do it efficiently. At the same time, we must maintain natural ecosystems without encroaching upon them without excessive deforestation and destruction of biodiversity," he told The Associated Press in a June interview when he was announced as this year's winner.
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