Two top researchers, one from the East African country Uganda and the other from Burkina Faso are among those who have been feted as winners of the much coveted 2020 Africa Food Prize (AFP).
Dr André Bationo, a researcher from Burkina Faso and Dr Catherine Nakalembe from Uganda were both recognized earlier this month for their contribution towards the promotion of food security across the African continent.
According to details of the US$ 100,000 award, Dr Bationo has been using his unique research and innovation skills to improve micro-dosing fertilizer technology in his country. Through his work, the country has been able scale-up an inventory credit system which allows farmers to store grain and receive a credit when prices are low, thus selling their grain when prices are higher. First implemented in Niger, the system has already spread across the region and is currently benefitting millions of farmers in West Africa.
On the other hand, Dr. Nakalembe was recognised for her role in improving the lives of smallholder farmers in Uganda through the use of satellite technology to harness data and guide them in their agricultural decision-making.
Speaking after announcing the winners, former Nigeria President Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo now Chairing the Africa Food Prize Committee noted that the two researchers are an embodiment of transformation in the agricultural sector of the continent.
The Africa Food Prize exists to reward pioneering efforts to overcome obstacles across the agriculture value chain including limited access to high-quality agricultural inputs, difficulties in accessing markets as well as the negative impact of climate change.
Last year, the AFP also received a boost from the launch of the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize which seeks to identify and give Africa’s bright young agrifood entrepreneurs aged 18-35 up to US$50,000 to aid in their work.
Other past winners of AFP include Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze from Nigerian, Kenyan professor Ruth Oniang’o and Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly from Mali.
To be selected for this prestigious award, the Prize Committee considers the following criteria:
• Contribution to reducing poverty and hunger and/or improving food and nutrition security in measurable terms
• Contribution to providing a vital source of income and/or employment in measurable terms
• Potential for transformative change through scalability, replication, and sustainability
• Increased awareness and cooperation among African audiences and organizations