Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the announcement of the World Food Prize Laureate at the State Department, Monday, June 10, 2019. Simon N. Groot of the Netherlands, founder of East-West Seed, will receive the 2019 World Food Prize.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the announcement of the World Food Prize Laureate at the State Department, Monday, June 10, 2019. Simon N. Groot of the Netherlands, founder of East-West Seed, will receive the 2019 World Food Prize.

DES MOINES, IOWA - A seed developer from the Netherlands credited with introducing high-quality disease-resistant vegetable seeds to more than 60 countries including the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia is the 2019 recipient of the World Food Prize. 

Simon Groot, a sixth generation seedsman, began his search to create better vegetable seeds to help farmers in Southeast Asia in 1981. 

Groot's award was announced Monday at the U.S. Department of State.

The foundation that awards the $250,000 World Food Prize is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Groot will receive the prize at an Oct. 17 award ceremony at the Iowa Capitol. 

The prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food.