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 Africa Food Prize and the Yara Prize have brought much-deserved recognition to 17 recipients from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe whose outstanding achievements (summarized below) point the way forward to a more vibrant farming sector for the entire continent by making African farms more productive, profitable and resilient.
Representing a wide cross section of African society, the winners of the Prize have included entrepreneurs, scientists, community organizers and activists, business leaders, and policy makers – all contributing in diverse and effective ways to a green revolution in Africa that bolsters the continent´s agricultural development and food security.
For his visionary leadership and passionate advocacy to place African smallholder farmers at the centre of the global agricultural agenda, and for his demonstrated success in advancing policies, programs and resources that have improved the lives of millions across the continent.
For his commitment and effective approach to engaging youth in agriculture as a sustainable livelihood. His work enabled 1,500 girls to build their financial, technical, and entrepreneurial skills and provided them with the self-confidence they needed to start their own commercial passion fruit farms.
For bringing a strong African voice to the debate on food security, which has had a profound influence on governments and was instrumental in translating the agenda of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) from a mere concept into decisive action.
For his leadership in devising scientific approaches to landscape and soil fertility management that have won widespread support from farmers, leading to the reversal of land degradation in Ethiopia, encouraged the large-scale uptake of efficient fertilizer use, and increased incomes for millions of rural people.
For her years of innovative research and advocacy work, that strengthened food and environmental policies in southern Africa, and for her global leadership in bringing civil society influence to bear on major issues, like the role of agriculture in confronting climate change.
For his tireless promotion of sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation through educational radio programs for smallholder farmers, which reach 250,000 listeners daily, as well as through school and community gardens focused on entrepreneurial development.
For her outstanding leadership in the transformation of Rwanda´s food security and agricultural development, which was achieved in a remarkably short time and has turned the country into a farming success story that neighboring countries are eager to repeat.
For her visionary leadership in creating a transparent and efficient market for smallholder coffee producers, which since ECX´s inauguration in 2008, has boosted the volume of coffee traded by more than four times, while increasing farmers´ share of the final export price from 38 to 65 percent.
For his selfless dedication to providing millions of smallholder farmers with access to affordable savings and credit – a feat he accomplished through the development of pioneering services, such as mobile rural banking and large-scale agro-dealer financing.
For its extraordinary success in making smallholder farming a viable and sustainable business, particularly for women, through measures such as the provision of extension services and a commodity exchange, which have contributed vitally to Malawi´s recent advances in food production.
For her remarkable ability to merge solid science – using tissue culture techniques, for example, to achieve higher yielding, disease-free banana production – with a holistic value chain approach that has improved access to markets and microfinance for thousands of banana producers.
For his pioneering work on the development of a dynamic livestock value chain that has created new market and income opportunities for female Maasai cattle keepers, while supplying urban consumers with nutritious value-added milk products.
For his path breaking efforts to make agricultural inputs more widely available to smallholder farmers, through an innovative model to transform village shops into a network of trained and certified agro-dealers as well as his strong engagement with African leaders on fertilizer supply issues.
For demonstrating how a determined and resourceful entrepreneur can develop a successful, export-oriented seed enterprise, while fostering the wider development of Africa´s vital seed sector by advocating for more favorable policies and institutional frameworks.
For her contribution to rebuilding the country´s agricultural economy after a devastating civil war through the establishment of a network of agricultural cooperatives embracing thousands of smallholder farmers and inspiring women to play key roles in national development.
For helping eradicate malnourishment and raise incomes among the most vulnerable members of rural communities through the creation of local networks to share low-cost innovations from agricultural research aimed at achieving sustainable small-scale food production.
For his courage and commitment in placing rural people at the center of Ethiopia´s development strategy and for his political support of bold programs to raise agricultural productivity and strengthen food security in Ethiopia and of a wider green revolution in Africa.