Elevating Heroes of Agriculture
The Africa Food Prize is the preeminent award recognizing an outstanding individual or institution that is leading the effort to change the reality of farming in Africa—from a struggle to survive to a business that thrives.
The US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.
Responding to an Urgent Challenge
African leaders in the public and private sector have embraced the potential of agriculture to deliver a more secure and prosperous future and there are glimpses of the enormous progress African farmers can make when they have what they need to succeed, and how the food they produce and the income they earn can send good vibrations through the entire economy.
But much work remains to be done, millions of farmers still lack access to high quality agricultural inputs, that can grow more, with less.
Farmers continue to have difficulty accessing markets. If they are not constrained by distance, limited quantities of produce sees farmers receive low prices for their product. Many farmers also do not have access to storage, which means they usually sell their produce at harvest time when the price is lowest, or risk having the quality of their produce slowly eroded because of poor storage technologies.
Limited technical knowledge also means farmers can be slow to adopt modern agricultural practices that are more productive, commercial and sustainable. And with effects of climate change becoming real, this need to continue learning and adopting becomes even more important as farmers counter the increasingly challenging conditions.
The Africa Food Prize exists to reward pioneering efforts to overcome these obstacles and encourage others to follow their lead.
Honoring a Rich History
The Africa Food Prize began as the Yara Prize, and was established in 2005 by Yara International ASA in Norway to honor achievements in African agriculture.
The Yara Prize recognized individuals from Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Mozambique for their success in making African farms more productive, profitable and resilient.
Moving the Yara Prize to Africa in 2016 and rechristening it the Africa Food Prize gave the award a distinctive African home, African identity and African ownership.
The Africa Food Prize recognizes extraordinary women, men, and institutions whose outstanding contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans.
Building on the values and principles established by the Yara Prize, the Africa Food Prize puts a bright spotlight on achievements and innovations with transformative power that can be scaled and replicated across the continent to eliminate hunger and poverty and provide a vital new source of employment and income.
The Prize Committee considers the following criteria for the Prize:
- Contribution to reducing poverty and hunger and/or improving food and nutrition security in measurable terms
- Contribution to providing a vital source of income and/or employment in measurable terms
- Potential for transformative change through scalability, replication, and sustainability
- Increased awareness and cooperation among African audiences and organizations
In its assessments, the Africa Food Prize Committee will particularly emphasize proven, tangible results, scalability and value creation derived from the nominee’s work, directly or indirectly, with regard to improvement of sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security in Africa. In its deliberations, the Africa Food Prize Committee will furthermore emphasize the value of the nominees’ achievements with regard to visionary thinking, their role as motivator and rallying point in the campaign against hunger and poverty, as well as their inclination to share knowledge and cooperate. The Africa Food Prize Committee will also consider the circumstances under which the work has been carried out and results achieved; that is the complexity of the problem and the difficulties, hostilities or prejudices encountered.
- Proven leadership potential of the individual or organization, specifically the ability of the to persevere despite significant challenges or risks
About the trophy
The Africa Food Prize trophy is inherited from the Yara Prize which was first handed out in Oslo, Norway, in 2005. Hand made by the Norwegian glass artist Cathrine Maske, it symbolizes the growth and prosperity of African agriculture. The green color is a clear reference to the African Green Revolution.