The World Food Prize Foundation has explained why Akinwumi Adesina, minister for agriculture in the regime of Goodluck Jonathan, won the $250,000 2017 World Food Prize on Monday.
NAIJ.com gathered that Adesina, whose name was selected on Monday, June 26, at Washington, D.C, becomes the 46th recipient and the sixth African to be so honoured.
Kenneth Quinn, a former US Foreign Service Officer and president of the foundation gave six reasons why Adesina won the award:
According Quinn, Adesina won the prize “for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent."
2. Achievements as minister
Although, he is now president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), his breakthrough achievements as minister of agriculture of Nigeria also helped him win the prize.
Quinn said: “Adesina led a major expansion of commercial bank lending to farmers as Vice President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, introduced the E-Wallet system.
"As Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015, he successfully transformed his country’s agriculture sector through bold reforms."
3. Credit initiative to farmers
Quinn said Adesina also “introduced initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent and galvanized the political will to transform African agriculture."
4. Anti-poverty campaign
Quinn said: "Adesina grew up in poverty himself and embarked on a journey to use his academic training to “lift up millions of people out of poverty, especially farmers in rural Africa."
5. Green revolution
Quinn said in 2006, as associate director for Food Security at the Rockefeller Foundation, Adesina played a critical leadership role in organising the Africa Fertilizer Summit in Abuja.
“Our Laureate next played a leadership role in the development of AGRA, during which he led the effort to exponentially expand commercial credit for the agricultural sector and for farmers across the continent,” he said.
6. Fighting corruption
In conclusion, Mr Quinn said: “As Minister of Agriculture of his home country Nigeria, our Laureate introduced the E-Wallet system which broke the back of the corrupt elements that had controlled the fertilizer distribution system for 40 years.
“The reforms he implemented increased food production by 21 million metric tonnes and attracted 5.6 billion dollars in private sector investments, thus earning him the reputation as the ‘Farmer’s Minister."
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He will be presented the prize and Laureate sculpture at a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 19.
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