By AGRA Content Hub

The search is on for the winner of the 2018 Africa Food Prize – the preeminent award that recognizes outstanding individuals or institutions that are leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.

The US $100,000 Prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a bright spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.

In 2020, Dr. André Bationo, a researcher from Burkina Faso, and Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, a Ugandan researcher, jointly received the Prize for their exceptional contribution towards the promotion of food security across the continent.

In 2019, Dr. Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, a policy champion and agricultural entrepreneur from Senegal were recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa’s agriculture through improved resource use and market links.

In 2018, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) was awarded the Prize for generating solutions on and off the farm that have improved the lives of millions in the face of climate change, a surge of crop pests and disease, and an urgent need for youth employment.

The 2017 Prize was jointly awarded to Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o, a professor and advocate of nutrition from Kenya, and Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly, an entrepreneur and agro industrialist from Mali, for their exemplary efforts in driving Africa’s agriculture transformation.

The two trailblazers succeeded the 2016 winner – Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, the former President of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Dr. Nwanze received the inaugural Prize for his outstanding leadership and passion for advocacy in putting Africa´s smallholder farmers at the center of the global agricultural agenda and for his courage in reminding African leaders to go beyond promising development and change to delivering it.

Now in its fifth year, the Prize has grown in stature and popularity. Nominations came from over 20 African countries in Africa as well as from countries outside the continent.

The 2021 winner(s) will be chosen by the Africa Food Prize Committee, an independent body of pre-eminent leaders that is chaired by the former Nigerian President, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo. The other committee members are Dr. Vera Songwe, Dr. Eleni Z. GabreMadhin, Prof. Joachim von Braun, Dr. Kama Rutenberg, Mr. Birama Sidibé and Prof. Sheryl Hendriks.

With the acknowledgement that agriculture is Africa’s surest path to inclusive economic growth and development, the Africa Food Prize exists to reward individuals and institutions that are pioneering efforts to create prosperity in Africa. It is hoped that this will encourage others to follow their lead.

The Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, and was established in 2005 by Yara International ASA in Norway to honor achievements in African agriculture. Moving the Yara Prize to Africa in 2016 and rechristening it the Africa Food Prize gave the award a distinctive African home, African identity and African ownership.

The deadline for nominations is May 25th 2021. The winner(s) will be unveiled at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) this September.