Dr. Adesina will receive a US$250,000 prize from the World Food Prize Foundation for his leading role for the past 25 years significantly expanding food production in Nigeria; introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent; and galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture.
At the ceremony, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave keynote remarks and applauded the selection.
“The selection of President Akinwumi Adesina as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate reflects both his breakthrough achievements as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria and his critical role in the development of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). It also gives further impetus to his profound vision for enhancing nutrition, uplifting smallholder farmers, and inspiring the next generation of Africans as they confront the challenges of the 21st century,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.
“As someone who grew out of poverty, I know that poverty is not pretty,” said Dr. Adesina. “My life mission is to lift up millions of people out of poverty, especially farmers in rural areas of Africa. We must give hope and turn agriculture into a business all across Africa to create wealth for African economies. The World Food Prize gives me an even greater global platform to make that future happen much faster for Africa.”
The World Food Prize is an international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. The Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, the World Food Prize has honored 45 individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.