AFRICA’S INDUSTRIOUS FARMER AWARD PRICED AT SH10 MILLION LAUNCHED.

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Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) President Dr. Agnes Kalibata.
BY THOMAS KARIUKI.

A prestigious award dubbed the ‘Africa Food Prize’ worth Ksh10 million (US Dollar 100,000) has been launched to boost food production and incomes in Africa family farms.

The prominent prize will recognize outstanding individuals and institutions that are changing the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.

Winners will be selected by a panel of independent and distinguished leaders in African agriculture chaired by former Nigerian President H.E Obasanjo.

In a press release today  by  Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) President Dr. Agnes Kalibata , The Africa Food Prize will shine a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to help millions of smallholder farmers deliver a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity.

“We encourage all to embrace this opportunity to honour the best and brightest in African agriculture by nominating candidates for the Africa Food Prize who are dedicated to putting smallholder farmers at the center of Africa’s growing economies”, Dr. Kalibata said in the statement.

She noted that the Africa Food Prize builds on the values and principles of the Yara Prize which was established in 2005 by giving the most prestigious award in African agriculture a distinct African identity and African ownership.

“This is one way of making sure we encourage and recognize the best”, Dr. Kalibata said on the award that is being funded jointly by  AGRA and Yara and so far has brought much- deserved recognition to 16 recipients, whose outstanding achievements point the way forward to a more vibrant farming sector for the entire continent.

Representing a wide cross section of African society, the winners of the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, have included entrepreneurs such as Kenya’s Equity Bank Chair Peter Munga who won in 2009 for his selfless dedication to providing millions of smallholder farmers with access to affordable savings and credit a feat he accomplished through the development of pioneering services, such as mobile rural banking and large-scale agro-dealer financing.

Another Kenyan Scientist Florence Wambugu, won in 2008 for her remarkable ability to merge solid science using tissue culture techniques to achieve higher yielding, disease- free banana production

Others are community organizers and activists, business leaders, and policy makers who have all been contributing in diverse and effective ways to a green revolution in Africa that bolsters the continent´s agricultural development and food security.

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