World Food Prize Intern Focuses on Food Security Issues in Kolli Hills

Chennai Aug 10, 2016: Every year one World Food Prize intern joins MSSRF under the Norman Borlaug-Ruan Fellowship to work within one of the Foundation’s area of work. This year MSSRF welcomed Nick Grandstaff from Iowa whose work focused on Food Security issues for livelihood. He was guided by Dr Israel Oliver King, Principal Scientist MSSRF based in Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu over a two-month period. Nick’s study focused on livelihood and food security issues in Thuvarapallam, in the tribal Kolli Hills region.

Nick studied the value chain of inputs going into different commodities including cash and food crops and their potential and impact on natural resources. Employing the five capitals framework for his study, he also made a detailed situation analysis. The study also made suggestions regarding cropping practices that could yield maximum income and food security to farmers while maintaining ecological balance of the soil.  

The presentation of the study was attended by scientists, staff and students of MSSRF. Prof M S Swaminathan Founder MSSRF and Dr V Selvam Executive Director MSSRF lauded Nick for his insightful work.

The 17-year old student who spent 40 days in a tribal location, completely different from his hometown and country, had a memorable academic and personal experience. His quest as part of the World Food Prize internship to come up with solutions for food security were summed up in his words, “I cannot change the world, but I would like to try one step at a time”.