This week, Food Tank is asking for your recommendations and suggestions for the World Food Prize. The Prize is asking for nominations for the 28th annual World Food Prize to be announced later this year. The prize awards US$250,000 to a laureate who has “improved the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.”
We would like you, our Food Tank readers and sustainers, to suggest who you think should be the winner! We also have some of our own suggestions:
Consider Edward Mukiibi. Mukiibi was recently appointed Vice-President of Slow Food International. Mukiibi’s work to reignite a taste for indigenous and traditional foods in Uganda and his work on the Thousand Gardens in Africa project are helping cultivate the next generation of agricultural leaders. Youth who look at agriculture—not as something they’re forced to do—but something they want to do because they see economic and intellectual opportunity in the food system.
Or Frances Moore Lappe, who has spent most of her life fighting for food justice. Her seminal book, Diet for a Small Planet, inspired a whole generation of food activists and in 1975, she co-founded Food First, the Small Planet institute, and the Small Planet Fund in 2001. She also has authored more than 18 books, including Hope’s Edge, with her daughter Anna Lappe, a food expert and activist in her own right.
How about Dr. Norman Uphoff? Uphoff is the Acting Director of the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs and former director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development from 1990-2005. Uphoff was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm and has been a consultant for the World Bank, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and many other agencies for over 40 years. He is an expert on strategies for sustainable and rural development, and leads the Cornell University initiative on the System of Rice Intensification.
Or Stephen Ruvuga, the head of Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA), a farmers organization which is part of La Via Campesina. MVIWATA works to mobilize small-scale farmers in Tanzania, who are often not recognized for their important role in food and income security, nutrition, and environmental stewardship.
Consider the scientist, Vandana Shiva. Her road to ecological sustainability began in the 1970s as part of the Chipko movement, a campaign to protect trees. In 1982 Shiva founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology (RFSTE), which focuses on biodiversity conservation. And nine years later, she founded Navdanya to protect seed diversity. Shiva has authored 13 books and over 300 publications. An outspoken advocate for ecological sustainability and conservation she has received more than 15 awards for her contribution to the field.
Or Lester Brown, whose passion for agriculture began on a farm in New Jersey with no running water or electricity. In 1963, Brown published Man, Land, and Food, the first comprehensive projection of world food, population, and land resources to the end of the century. In the 1970s, Brown helped pioneer the concept of sustainable development, earning 26 honorary degrees and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is currently the Founder and President of the Earth Policy Institute. Brown has authored over 50 books on global environmental issues.
How about Riya Sinha? Sinha is a botanist who has worked with the Honey Bee Network for more than ten years. The Network is present in more than 75 countries and believes that a sustainable system must be both just and fair, the organization has documented over one million ideas, innovations, and traditional practices. An advocate of natural resource management and grassroots innovation, Sinha is the Chief Innovation Officer for the National Innovation Foundation in Ahmedabad, India and Governing Board Member at the Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network (GAIN).
We’re also in awe of Dr. Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher from Ethiopia who is one of Africa’s strongest advocates and defenders of community and environmental rights. Dr. Tewolde serves as General Manager of the Environmental Protection Authority of the Ethiopian Government and as a board member of the International Forum on Globalization in the U.S. He has pioneered drafts of laws on biosafety and community rights. In 2000, Dr. Tewolde was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for preserving biodiversity and the traditional rights of farmers and communities.
In addition to seeking nominations for the World Food Prize, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation is working with the World Food Prize Foundation to recognize global leaders, under 40, who are changing the food system.
The 40 Chances Fellowship Program will fund four Fellows with the most innovative social enterprise plans that incorporate principles from the book 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World — roots, bravery, lessons, challenges, and hope — and address issues of hunger, poverty, or conflict. The application for the 40 Chances Fellow program is open until May 31st and can be found here.
The World Food Prize will be presented in mid-October at the Laureate Award Ceremony hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa. The criteria for the nominations can be found here and the submission form can be found here. The deadline for nominations is June 30th.
Who has made an exceptional, significant, individual achievement in transforming the food system? Food Tank wants to know–please share your nominations with us!
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