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First Vietnamese scientist honored with VinFuture Prize

First Vietnamese scientist honored with VinFuture Prize

Thursday, December 21, 2023, 13:53 GMT+7
First Vietnamese scientist honored with VinFuture Prize
Prof. Vo Tong Xuan (R, 2nd) and Indian-American scientist Prof. Gurdev Singh Khush (L, 2nd) win VinFuture Special Prizes. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Prof. Vo Tong Xuan became Vietnam’s first scientist to secure a VinFuture prize for his popularization of a disease-resistant rice variety at the VinFuture awards ceremony in Hanoi on Wednesday evening.

Prof. Xuan and Indian-American scientist Prof. Gurdev Singh Khush each won a VinFuture Special Prize for Innovators from Developing Countries at the third VinFuture Prize awards ceremony – an event held to recognize transformative scientific and technological innovations capable of making significant positive changes.

The two scientists were honored for their contributions to innovating and popularizing disease-resistant rice varieties and ensuring global food security.

The event’s panel of judges lauded the two professors’ innovations as having prompted an ‘agricultural revolution.’

Xuan’s work played a significant role in making IR36, a disease-resistant rice variety, popular in pest-infected areas in the Mekong Delta region and allowing farmers to apply advanced grafting techniques.

He has helped farmers increase their access to high-quality rice varieties, thus spurring higher rice yields and reducing costs.

These high-quality rice types are able to grow without the use of pesticides and toxic chemicals, thereby contributing to global sustainable agricultural development, protecting the environment, and contributing to public health, the judging panel said.

Born in 1940 in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, Xuan earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural chemistry in 1966 before obtaining a postgraduate degree at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

In 1971, he returned to Vietnam to start work at Can Tho University in the namesake city, located in the Mekong Delta.

He secured a doctoral degree in Japan in 1975.

Xuan is the author of numerous research projects, studies, and references that have benefited agricultural production at home and abroad.

From 1980 to 1985, he introduced high-yield rice varieties IR36 and MTL30 to the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam’s largest rice production hub.

His CV includes serving as vice-president at Can Tho University and president at An Giang University in An Giang, another delta province.

He was conferred the title ‘Labor Hero’ in 1985 and the title ‘People’s Teacher’ in 1999.

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Tieu Bac - Thanh Ha / Tuoi Tre News

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