The Yara Prize 2013 has been awarded to two prominent African laureates for their work for African farmers and for the continent's green revolution.
The Yara Prize Committee selected 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).
"Yara creates impact by addressing global challenges. By awarding the Yara Prize, we salute the champions of sustainable agricultural development. I wish to extend my personal congratulations to the laureates," says Jørgen Haslestad, President and CEO of Yara and Chairman of the Yara Prize Committee.
The award recognizes their effective entrepreneurial work which has spread knowledge that has inspired smallholder farmers and youth to improve their lives, and their policy dialogue and advocacy which has enabled change in the African agricultural sector. They are both examples of the can-do spirit and drive that is playing a vital role in transforming agriculture in Africa.
The two laureates will be celebrated during a Yara Prize Ceremony in Maputo, Mozambique, on September 4th in connection with the African Green Revolution Forum 2013.
Mr. Ikegwuonu uses radioas transmitter of sustainable agricultural development and environmental conservation beneficial to poor rural smallholder farmers in the Imo State in southeast Nigeria. He and the Smallholders Foundation develop and broadcast 10 hours of educational radio programs in the local Igbo language daily to 250,000 listeners. Since 2007, 65 percent of his listeners have increased their agricultural yield by 50 percent and their household income by 45 percent.
Through the Future Farmers Program, Mr. Ikegwuonu imparts sustainable agricultural, environmental management, entrepreneurship and financial management skills to young people by establishing School and Community Gardens in secondary schools and rural communities across Nigeria.
Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is awarded the prize for her many years of work generating knowledge and facilitating dialogue to develop informed, research-based development through policy and advocacy across Africa as CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), where she has served since 2004.
FANRPAN is perceived as one of the most influential policy networks across the African region. Its focus areas include policy research and advocacy work on food policy, agricultural productivity, natural resources and environment, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on farmers' livelihoods.
Dr. Sibanda has played a global leadership role in increasing the visibility and importance of agriculture as a key development driver. In 2009 she led the global "No-Agriculture, No-Deal" campaign and mobilized African civil society organizations to push for the inclusion of agriculture in the UNFCCC climate change negotiations.
Dr. Sibanda has effectively built recognition for FANRPAN as one of the most recognized and trusted voices on African agriculture and food security, including a strong focus on women farmers. FANRPAN become Africa-wide in 2012, and has identified youth as an important stakeholder group to be included in agricultural policy processes, launching the FANRPAN Youth in Agriculture Award in 2012.