Adesina Wins $250,000 World Food Prize

June 27, 2017
Adesina Wins $250,000 World Food Prize

Adesina Wins $250,000 World Food Prize

By Dipo Olowookere

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has been announced as winner of the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate.

Mr Adesina, the immediate past Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, clinched the prize due to his achievements in the area of boosting agriculture in Africa.

Specifically, his role in revamping the agricultural sector in Nigeria when he was a Minister under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan made him win the $250,000 monetary reward attached to the honour.

Announcing Mr Adesina as winner on Monday, the World Food Prize Foundation President, Mr Kenneth Quinn, noted that the AfDB boss was chosen for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent.

According to Mr Quinn, Mr Adesina led a major expansion of commercial bank lending to farmers as Vice President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, introduced the E-Wallet system.

He said Mr Adesina’s efforts made Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production, and also making cassava a major cash crop in the country.

“Our Laureate next played a leadership role in the development of AGRA, during which he led the effort to exponentially expand commercial credit for the agricultural sector and for farmers across the continent.

“And then, as Minister of Agriculture of his home country Nigeria, our Laureate introduced the E-Wallet system which broke the back of the corrupt elements that had controlled the fertilizer distribution system for 40 years.

“The reforms he implemented increased food production by 21 million metric tonnes and attracted 5.6 billion dollars in private sector investments, thus earning him the reputation as the ‘Farmer’s Minister’,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Adesina will be presented the $250,000 prize and Laureate sculpture at a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 19.

The AfDB President was Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture from 2011 to 2015.

He is the 46th person and the sixth African to win the World Food Prize.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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