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The former President of Nigeria, Olusengun Obasanjo has called on African government’s to be self- reliant in food production in order to prevent the Continent from been enslaved by the developed world. 

He said food security is a critical issue in Africa “And so who feeds you can take you as slave therefore we should make sure Africa is self-reliant in food production” in order not to be entrapped by the dictates of the developed countries.

According to the Former President of Nigeria, the uniqueness about the two awardees stems from their ability to succeed both as commercial farmers and high achievement in their a academic persuits.

“They have embraced farming, using their talents and knowledge to demonstrate its enormous commercial possibilities.he added

The former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the chairperson for the selection committee announced the winners at a media briefing last Wednesday at the 2019 African Green Revolution Forum underway at the Accra International conference centre in Ghana.

A smallholder farmer, Dr. Emma Naluyima from Uganda and Mr Baba Dioum, an agricultural entrepreneur and policy expert from Senegal were joint winners of the 2019 Africa Food Prize. The two received US$ 100,000 as prize package.

The former president also commended the two winners for demonstrating their credibility by engaging in innovative agricultural practices.

The joint winners were selected amongst over 200 nominees for their efforts towards sustainable agricultural practices and promoting innovative and sustainable growth. 

They were recognised for their judicious use of resources and the creation of market links towards ensuring food security in Africa.

The award winners were also lauded for their key role towards the objective of achieving the African green revolution agenda.

The outgoing Board Chairman of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, Mr. Strive Masiya on his part also noted “the awards received by these two would inspire young people to go into farming to help boost Agricultural productivity by adopting innovative methods of farming”.

I stopped working as a salaried earner and transformed my one-acre land into a profitable farm.

One of the receipient of the food prize award, Dr. Nayulima narrated how she achieved this feat by innovative integration of crop and livestock by recycling farm resources to provide natural fertilizers and other important products.

“I stopped working as a salaried earner and transformed my one-acre land into a profitable farm.I also generated $100,000 a year from my farm and hosted up to 10,000 visiting farmers to share knowledge through my advisory service”. She added.

Mr Dioum who was also a receipient of the award said he has over the years promoted promoted cross-border agricultural trade in West Africa and made enormous contributions towards the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). and played substantial role in various Agricultural reforms in his country.

The president and Chief Executive Officer of Yara International ASA Mr. Svein Tore Holsether commended the winners for their immense contribution towards agriculture productivity in Africa and said the winners exhibited what was needed in transforming Agriculture in Africa.

He also underscored the need for the youth to utilise opportunities in the Agricultural sector to help in the realization of the green revolution.
This according to the CEO could be achieved if knowledge and technology is applied.

The Africa Food Prize which began as the Yara Prize, was established in 2005 by Yara International ASA in Norway to honour players in the agricultural industry.

The 2019 AGRF brought together scores of people across the globe who among other events were particularly interested in the ultimate winner of the food prize award. Some topical issues discussed included policy interventions to address challenges in agriculture by African government’s, food security, sustainable agriculture among others.

Source : Africatoday

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