The Yara Prize 2013 ceremony has taken place in connection with the African Green Revolution Forum in Maputo, Mozambique.
In a fully packed ceremony hall, where distinguished guests, government officials and representatives from civil society were present, the laureates were honored by Yara President, CEO and Chairman of the Yara Prize Committee, Jørgen Haslestad.
"Through this prize Yara wants to encourage improvements in the food systems, sustainable agriculture and the development of markets," Haslestad said. "We use the prize to highlight outstanding efforts by organizations or individuals to increase food productivity, security or availability."
"This year we put a specific focus on young women and men who are making a particular effort within agriculture, paying attention to innovation and entrepreneurship," he added.
The 2013 laureates are Mr. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, founder and CEO of the Smallholders Foundation in Nigeria, and Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).
The Yara Prize 2013 was awarded for their work for African farmers and for the continent's green revolution. Their efforts have spread knowledge and inspiration that has improved the lives of smallholder farmers and youth, and their policy dialogue and advocacy campaigns have enabled change in the African agricultural sector.
Both laureates have influenced results in their respective areas of work by translating ideas about the development of African agriculture. They are true examples of the can-do spirit and drive that plays a vital role in transforming agriculture in Africa.
Laureate Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda has over 20 years of transdisciplinary experience in rural development, public sector reforms and private sector management, and been CEO of FANRPAN since 2004.
Under Dr. Sibanda's leadership FANRPAN has been transformed in five years from a small, sub-regional network to a global player on the food security agenda, giving voice to Africa's position in the Green Revolution, Climate Change and CAADP.
Award-winner Nnaemeka C. Ikegwuonu has combined his two passions - namely farming and journalism - through the establishment of the Smallholders Foundation. Using the Future Farmers radio program, Mr. Ikegwuonu has communicated sustainable agricultural, environmental management, entrepreneurship and financial management skills to young people, by establishing the School and Community Gardens in secondary schools and rural communities across Nigeria.
"Agriculture gives youth a great opportunity to be employed as quickly as possible," says Mr. Ikegwuonu. "And we need to tell the world that I have been employed through agriculture - and that the same opportunity is open for millions of other young people."