Akinwumi’s World Food Prize Laureate Award Validates CMRG Chief’s Claim
In line with Lanre Fasakin, Managing Director, Communications Marketing Research Group, CMRG Ltd, recent commendation of Akinwunmi Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture’s yeoman’s job while in office, the ex-Minister and current president of the African Development Bank, AfDB, has been announced winner of this year’s World Food Prize award confirming the veracity of Fasakin’s claim.
Adesina wins the 2017 World Food Prize known as ‘Nobel Prize’ for food and agriculture with a prize money of US $250,000. The Food prize is given annually to a person who has worked to advance human development by “improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world”. Akinwunmi wins the honour courtesy most of the landmark projects he did as Agric Minister.
The award announced on Monday by the president of the World Food Prize, Kenneth Quinn at the US Department of Agriculture announcement validates Fasakin claims in an interview published June 21 on this platform. Read interview here.
Fasakin while fielding questions an interview with BrandCrunch, had disclosed that he had seen the research findings on fertilizer commissioned under Akinwumi Adesina as Agriculture Minister, “it provides information and data that will be relevant for the next 50 years to boost food production”, he claims adding, “I am surprised that nobody is talking about them now”.
According to the research expert, in terms of solutions, all over the world, “I doubt if there is any country in the world that does it better than Nigeria”. However, the bane in our setting is that the day another minister comes, the research finding which is supposed to be the guiding light is rubbished.
He advises that irrespective of change in administration, we should make government run as a continuum.
While making the announcement the president of the World Food Prize noted that the Committee observed a couple of “distinct achievements” of Mr. Adesina: his role in organizing and making the African fertilizer summit a “great success” which incidentally coincided with Mr. Fasakin’s point of reference to the erudite ex-minister in his interview.
Other works that qualified him for the award include his work with leading non-profit organizations and banks to expand the availability of commercial credits to agriculture and farmers across the continent when he was a senior executive of the Alliance of Green Revolution of Africa and the digital e-wallet scheme during his five-year tenure as minister of agriculture of Nigeria, which helped tackle corruption that had pervaded the fertilizer industry.
Mr. Quinn said Mr. Adesina has helped galvanize support to transform agriculture on the continent through his various initiatives which increased farmers’ yield and incomes. “All of his policies were very farmer friendly, and he became known as the ‘farmer’s minister’”. The committee was also “taken” by Adesina’s own life that began with him growing up in a poor village, and how education “allowed him to lift himself up,” Mr. Quinn said.
Since its founding in 1986, the Prize has honored 45 individuals for their outstanding contributions to food security around the world. “These individuals have been at the forefront of every major breakthrough in agriculture and food production in the last 30 years”.
Nominations for the prize are submitted by organizations and prestigious individuals. A selection committee – made of individuals from around the world – makes the decision.
The AfDB president came from a family of farmers. With some education, however, his dad got a job as a civil servant which provided the means to send his four sons to school. Adesina, the second, experienced the poverty of small holder farmers and their families during his years of schooling in the village.
Mr. Adesina told All Africa that he was thrilled when he first learned that he had been selected as this year’s winner for the work he’s done over the years.
“But for me, it’s not about the past as much as even the future; I feel greatly inspired and motivated to do even more until we free Africa and the world of hunger”.
He will be at the center of attention this week in Des Moines, Iowa, where guests from dozens of countries, including scientists, ministers, CEOs, and heads of NGOs will gather for a week of activities including presentation the coveted prize to him.
He is also scheduled to speak at various events including the “Borlaug Dialogue”, a symposium which organizers say brings together 1,200 people from 65 countries, named after Norman Borlaug, the 1970 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who conceived the idea of the World Food Prize.