Dr. Shakuntla Haraksingh of Trinidad gets the World Food Prize 2021

Most of her family, were descendants of Indian Hindu migrants brought to Trinidad to engage in agricultural labour.

Dr Shakuntla Haraksingh of Trinidad gets the World Food Prize 2021
Dr Shakuntla Haraksingh of Trinidad gets the World Food Prize 2021

Trinidad: Dr Shakuntla Haraksingh of Trinidad and Tobago has been awarded the prestigious World Food Prize 2021 for her contribution to eliminating hunger in many areas.

Her nomination was announced by the US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken along with Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack on 11th May 2021.

“I am truly honoured to receive the 2021 World Food Prize, and I am deeply humbled to place in such distinguished ranks as those of past laureates,” said Dr Shakuntla Haraksingh

World Food Prize is the most prominent global award rewarded after recognizing a person who has enhanced human development and confronted global hunger by improving the quality and quantity of food and making it available for all.

Background of Shakuntla Haraksingh

Dr Shakuntla was born in Reform Village of Trinidad. She joined Naparima Girls High School, and then she went for her bachelor’s degree in science in Tropical Agriculture during the period of 1971 from the University of West Indies, St Augustine.

After graduating, she worked with the Ministry of Agriculture of Tobago as the first female agriculture officer. In Tobago, she met with her husband, who was a Danish citizen, after which she also migrated to Denmark with him.

1980 was when she received her PhD in Physiology of Nutrition from the Royal Veterinary and Agriculture University, Denmark, where she worked for several years. Her research was also focused on food nutrition security in many developing countries and continents like Asia and Africa. From 2010, she has been a researcher at WorldFish, that has its headquarter in Penang, Malaysia and improving natural resources.

Her husband Finn Thilsted is a former ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh, Kenya and Nepal.

Her research on small native fish species in Bangladesh led to the development of nutrition-sensitive approaches to aquatic food systems at all levels. Resulting in improved diets for millions of the most vulnerable people in Asia and Africa, the World Food Prize said on its website.