Nigerian Agriculturalist Bags Award


Dr Akinwumi Adesina, a distinguished Nigerian agricultural economist, has won the  prestigious 2010 Borlaug CAST Communications Award for his outstanding leadership in  agricultural development and his bold communication.

The award committee said his bold commnunications was influencing policies in support of  the smallholder African farmer.

The CAST Borlaug Award, established in 1986 and recently re-named to honour Dr Norman  Borlaug, by the Council for Science and Technology (CAST) in the U.S., honours global  excellence in science and communications.

Previous winners include Pedro Sanchez of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Per  Pinstrup-Andersen, former director general of the International Food Policy Research  Institute (IFPRI).

‘’I am deeply honoured by this Borlaug CAST award, but I am also incredibly humbled  because it puts an even greater weight on my shoulders to advocate for what I believe in  and that is to end poverty and hunger from where I come from – Africa,’’ a statement from  the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) quoted  Adesina as saying after  receiving the award at the weekend.

‘’For me, it is a mission to ensure all Africans have access to better food and  nutrition, and that farmers in particular have waited way too long for their lives to  improve,’’he added.

The first African to win the award since its inception in 1986, Adesina is a world class  scholar who has greatly shaped policies through his informed speeches, published papers  and provided leadership at AGRA, where he is the Vice President, Policy and Partnership  programme.

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Adesina takes his passionate message to the highest corridors of power around the world.

At AGRA, he leads efforts assisting African governments to develop policies for  stimulating pro-poor agricultural growth, as well as developing strategic partnerships  with African governments, donors, farmer organisations and the private sector to create  better opportunities for smallholder farmers.

His most notable achievement was designing the landmark Africa Fertilizer Summit in 2006  at which over 40 heads of state and governments committed to bold initiatives to improve  the supply, demand and environmentally efficient use of organic and inorganic  fertilizers.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed him one of the 17 world leaders who  will collectively seek to galvanize worldwide support towards achieving the UN Millennium  Development Goals (UN MDGs) by their target date of 2015.

One of four African members in this high-profile MDG Advocacy Group, he will focus his  advocacy efforts on the first Millennium Development Goal of halving world hunger.

Adesina has over 20 years experience in African agriculture. He holds a BSc in  Agricultural Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Ife, Nigeria (now  Obafemi Awolowo University) as well as master’s degree in 1985 and doctorate in 1988 in  Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis  award.

AGRA is an Africa-based organization working in partnership with governments,  agricultural research organisations, farmers, private sector, civil society and other  rural development stakeholders to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity  and incomes of resource poor farmers in Africa.

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