Hans Rudolf Herren

Hans Rudolf Herren – Wikipedia

Hans Rudolf Herren (born November 30, 1947 in Mühleberg, Switzerland) is a Swiss entomologist, farmer and development specialist. He was the first Swiss to receive the 1995 World Food Prize and the 2013 Right Livelihood Award for leading a major biological pest management campaign in Africa, successfully fighting the Cassava mealybug and averting a major food crisis that could have claimed an estimated 20 million lives.

Herren is the president and CEO of the Washington-based Millennium Institute and co-founder and president of the Swiss foundation Biovision. He co-chaired the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) published 2008, and was Director General of International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi, Kenya from 1994 to 2005. He was involved in the preparations of the United Nations’ Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development with Biovision Foundation and Millennium Institute.

Hans Rudolf Herren (2009)

Based on his deep and long experience in biological pest control, sustainable agriculture and rural development issues Herren is an outspoken proponent of agro-ecology, organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. He criticises that GMOs currently, and most probably also in the future, offer no significant economic or social advantages to poor small-scale farmers, that they reduce the resilience of agricultural systems through reducing the diversity of crops and the genetical diversity within varieties at a time when more diversity is needed from crop/animal to system levels. According to Herren: “Today’s GMOs don’t produce more food, they help cut production costs – in the first few years until insects and weeds catch up again – as we have seen earlier with the use of insecticides. That’s why we introduced Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which was meant to treat the causes of pest outbreaks. The GMO crop cultivars that are used today are basically a step back, to the pre-IPM period. Many pest problems can actually be solved with classical breeding and marker assisted breeding methods, that do not force farmers into costly licensing agreements with seed companies or lock them into the use of specific herbicides.”



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