Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, was announced today as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Hon. Sonny Perdue gave keynote remarks and applauded the selection.
Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Nigerian Dr. Adesina for his leading role over the past two decades in: significantly expanding food production in Nigeria; introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent; and galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture.
AGRA’S President, Dr. Kalibata congratulated him on his win
“I received the news of Dr. Adesina’s announcement as the winner of the 2017 World Food Prize with immense delight. We at AGRA, an institution he helped build from scratch, attest that there could not be a more deserving person for the honour. On behalf of the AGRA Board and the entire AGRA staff, I send him our hearty congratulations.
“Akin is a true agricultural trailblazer. Throughout his career, he has spearheaded initiatives that give smallholder farmers access to productivity boosting fertilizer and seed technologies. He has also worked with banks across the continent to develop innovative products for farmers.
“Believing in the huge agricultural potential of the continent – potential that cannot be eaten, as he constantly counsels, he has worked to link farmers to markets in the push to make agriculture a viable business.
“Strongly driven by his personal story growing up in poverty, Akin has remained true to his belief that Africa can feed itself. He has relentlessly pursued this vision through his policy reform work that has characterized his approach.
“He holds the distinction of being the first person with an agricultural background to ever lead a regional development bank. When he became the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), he called on those of us in the community to do everything possible to improve the wellbeing of our people and promised to offer his full support to make it happen. I still remember the fire in his eyes as he made this call. I know that some of his greatest contributions may be yet to come.
“The World Food Prize is another notable feather in his cap. Akin, we are very proud of you!"