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AFRICA FOOD PRIZE 2019 GOES TO UGANDAN AND SENEGALESE POLICY ADVOCATE FARMERS

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Dr Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, an agricultural policy champion from Senegal, are the joint winners of this year’s Africa Food Prize.

Dr Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, an agricultural policy champion from Senegal, are the joint winners of this year’s Africa Food Prize.

The winners will be announced today at a gala at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra to coincide with the African Green Revolution Forum 2019, which is taking place at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The prize recognises initiatives and technical innovation to promote sustainability in African agriculture and agri-processing.

Pigs, fish and fruit

The 2019 winners were selected from among nearly 200 nominees. The prize-giving committee praised them for demonstrating sustainable growth in agriculture by making better use of resources and forging tighter links with markets.

Rather than pursue an institutional career using her training as a vet, Dr Naluyima decided to become a farmer, transforming her one-acre plot into an environmentally friendly showcase.

She integrates crop and livestock production, recycling farm resources to provide both biogas and natural fertilisers and pesticides. She rears cattle, pigs and chickens and does fish farming alongside growing fruit and vegetables, including cabbage and passion fruit, on her farm on the outskirts of Entebbe.

Dr Naluyima generates $100,000 annually through farming and hosts up to 10,000 visitors each year to share knowledge through her advisory service.

Regional brand

Also a prosperous farmer ‒ of vegetables, potatoes and mangoes ‒ Baba Dioum is a pioneer in introducing critical policy reforms in Senegal who has also assumed an influential role in regional and Africa-wide policy development.

He successfully promoted cross-border agricultural trade in West Africa by creating a regional network of mango exporters and developing a successful regional brand. His work has helped significantly to advance the trade dimension of the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme.

His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria, who chairs the Africa Food Prize Committee, praised the two winners for their courage and their solidarity with other farmers.

“What most strikes me about this year’s winners is how their academic and professional success has gone hand in hand with their success as farmers,” the former President said. “Rather than turn away from the countryside like so many others, they have embraced farming. In other words, they practise what they preach.”

Presidents meet

The prize, worth $100,000, was known as the Yara Prize until 2015. Previous winners include Akinwumi Adesina, the former Nigerian Agriculture Minister and agricultural campaigner now in charge of the African Development Bank, and Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian Prime Minister.

Over 2,300 delegates from across Africa and beyond have gathered in Accra to take part in AGRF2019. President Akufo-Addo will lead a presidential summit at the Forum today with Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria, Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente of Rwanda and President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo.

* For more details, visit Twitter: @AfrFoodPrize. AGRF2019: agrf.org

Emma Naluyima is a joint winner of this year's prize