Former Agric Minister, Adesina Wins $250,000 World Food Prize
Nigera’s former Minister for Agriculture and incumbent President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has won this year’s prestigious World Food Prize.
The award comes with a $250,000 prize money to a person who has worked to advance human development by “improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world”.
The award which is also known as the “Nobel Prize” for food and agriculture has been in existence for 31 years.
President of the World Food Prize, Kenneth Quinn made the announcement at a ceremony held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, Premium Times reports.
Quinn said the committee noted a couple of “distinct achievements” of Mr Adesina: his role in organizing and making the African fertilizer summit a “great success”; his work with leading non-profit organizations and banks to expand the availability of commercial credits to agriculture and farmers across the continent when he was a senior executive of the Alliance of Green Revolution of Africa.
The committee also considered the digital e-wallet scheme during his five-year tenure as minister of agriculture of Nigeria.
Mr Quinn said Mr Adesina has helped galvanise support to transform agriculture on the continent through his various initiatives which increased farmers’ yield and incomes.
“All of his policies were very farmer friendly, and he became known as the ‘farmer’s minister’”.
The committee was also “taken” by Adesina’s own life that began with him growing up in a poor village, and how education “allowed him to lift himself up,” Quinn said.
“I see a future where agriculture is treated as a business, not as a way of life; I see a continent in the next ten years that will be able to feed itself; I see a continent that will be able to transform its rural economy from zones of misery to zones of economic prosperity; I see a continent that is able to end malnutrition”.
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