Dr. Pedro A. Sanchez

Dr. Pedro A. Sanchez is Senior Research Scholar, Director of the Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment Program, and Director of the Millennium Villages Project, all at Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York. He is Professor Emeritus of Soil Science and Forestry at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

A native of Cuba, Dr. Sanchez earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and in 1968 took a professional position at North Carolina State University that he held until 1991. From 1968 to 1971 he led a research team in Peru that helped the nation achieve self-sufficiency in rice and produce among the highest rice yields in the world.

In 1991, Dr. Sanchez accepted a position in Kenya as Director General of the International Center for Research in Agroforestry, where he made his most enduring contribution to ending world hunger through experimenting with adding native rock phosphate to the soil while simultaneously planting selected nitrogen-fixing trees and bushes alongside rows of crops. The 400,000+ farmers who have adopted this innovative approach in more than 20 countries have seen yields increase by as much as 400%.

Dr. Sanchez was awarded the World Food Prize in 2002, has been decorated by the governments of Colombia and Peru, and has received honorary doctorates from Guelph University in Canada and the Catholic University in Belgium. He has been awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious “Genius Award” as well as the International Soil Science Award and the International Service in Agronomy Award; he currently serves on the Boards of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academy of Sciences, the Millennium Promise Alliance, and the Yara Foundation in Norway Dr. Sanchez was named Hero of Humanity by Heifer International’s World Ark publication in November 2006.

During his professional career, Dr. Sanchez has been dedicated to improving the management of tropical soils through integrated natural resource management approaches that achieve food security and reduce rural poverty while protecting and enhancing the environment. Dr. Sanchez is author of Properties and Management of Soils of the Tropics (rated among the top 10 best-selling books in soil science worldwide) and more than 250 scientific publications.

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