28th September, 2010
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, a distinguished Nigerian agricultural economist, has won theÂ prestigious 2010 Borlaug CAST Communications Award for his outstanding leadership inÂ agricultural development and his bold communication.
The award committee said his bold commnunications was influencing policies in support ofÂ the smallholder African farmer.
The CAST Borlaug Award, established in 1986 and recently re-named to honour Dr NormanÂ Borlaug, by the Council for Science and Technology (CAST) in the U.S., honours globalÂ excellence in science and communications.
Previous winners include Pedro Sanchez of Columbia Universityâ€™s Earth Institute and PerÂ Pinstrup-Andersen, former director general of the International Food Policy ResearchÂ Institute (IFPRI).
â€˜â€™I am deeply honoured by this Borlaug CAST award, but I am also incredibly humbledÂ because it puts an even greater weight on my shoulders to advocate for what I believe inÂ and that is to end poverty and hunger from where I come from – Africa,â€™â€™ a statement fromÂ the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) quotedÂ Adesina as saying afterÂ receiving the award at the weekend.
â€˜â€™For me, it is a mission to ensure all Africans have access to better food andÂ nutrition, and that farmers in particular have waited way too long for their lives toÂ improve,â€™â€™he added.
The first African to win the award since its inception in 1986, Adesina is a world classÂ scholar who has greatly shaped policies through his informed speeches, published papersÂ and provided leadership at AGRA, where he is the Vice President, Policy and PartnershipÂ programme.
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 forÂ stimulating pro-poor agricultural growth, as well as developing strategic partnershipsÂ with African governments, donors, farmer organisations and the private sector to createÂ better opportunities for smallholder farmers.
His most notable achievement was designing the landmark Africa Fertilizer Summit in 2006Â at which over 40 heads of state and governments committed to bold initiatives to improveÂ the supply, demand and environmentally efficient use of organic and inorganicÂ fertilizers.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed him one of the 17 world leaders whoÂ will collectively seek to galvanize worldwide support towards achieving the UN MillenniumÂ 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 hisÂ 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 inÂ Agricultural Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Ife, Nigeria (nowÂ Obafemi Awolowo University) as well as masterâ€™s degree in 1985 and doctorate in 1988 inÂ Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, where he won the Outstanding PhD ThesisÂ award.
AGRA is an Africa-based organization working in partnership with governments,Â agricultural research organisations, farmers, private sector, civil society and otherÂ rural development stakeholders to significantly and sustainably improve the productivityÂ and incomes of resource poor farmers in Africa.