HarvestPlus congratulates Ismael Cakmak, one of our major collaborators, on yet another award from the scientific community. Cakmak, who heads the HarvestPlus-affiliated HarvestZinc project, has won the 2016 Science Award of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).

“Dr. Cakmak has made major contributions to scientific knowledge through his leadership role in alleviating the micronutrient malnutrition problem in developing countries,” notes IPNI President Terry Roberts. “This has led to international recognition for his efforts in zinc biofortification of cereal crops.”

Through HarvestZinc, Cakmak is exploring how to improve the concentrations of zinc and iodine in wheat and rice through fertilizers. His work focuses on nine target countries, including Brazil, China, India, Thailand, Pakistan, and South Africa.

So far, Cakmak and his team have proved that foliar zinc application can significantly improve the concentration of zinc in rice, a positive finding for the estimated 17 percent of the global population that is zinc deficient and might consume the crop regularly.

The IPNI Science Award is the latest in a raft of scientific awards for Cakmak. Those awards include the 2016 World Academy of Sciences Prize, the 2014 Georg Forster Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation, and the IFA-International 2005 Crop Nutrition Award.

Read the full IPNI press release announcing Cakmak’s win.