Harshita Krupadanam, a junior at the Quarry Lane School in Dublin, recently presented a research paper on ways to save harvested crops during unseasonable rains in India at the Global Youth Institute sponsored the World Food Prize Foundation.
Krupadanam was one of 215 students, out of 10,000 applicants, selected to participate in the Global Youth Institute, held annually in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium.
This year’s institute and symposium were held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Food Prize was created in 1986 to honor those who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food throughout the world.
Borlaug was an American agronomist whose work to increase agricultural production led to what has been called the Green Revolution. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 and later received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, National Medal of Science, and the Congressional Gold Medal.
After learning about farmers in India losing their crops to unseasonal rains, Krupadanam researched and proposed engineering solutions for the temporary on-site storage of crops in “harvest pods.”
She was selected to present her paper, “Harvest Loss Prevention Using On-site Storage,” as a Borlaug Scholar to a panel of professors, global food security experts, and fellow students at the World Food Prize Foundation’s Summer Youth Institute.
That led to an invitation to participate in the two-week Global Youth Institute, Oct. 9-22.
“Attending the Global Youth Institute was a remarkable experience,” Krupadanam said, adding that she especially enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Dr. Howarth Bouis, a graduate of Stanford University, who received the World Food Prize in 2016 for his work on biofortification, the science of increasing the nutritional value of staple crops.
Krupadanam said genetics is “an area of research that interests me greatly.”
Delegates to the Global Youth Institute represented 27 states and 10 foreign countries, including Bahrain, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Sweden. In addition to their individual papers, they will share their ideas in a collaborative report to the advisors of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.