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Support and recognition where it counts

Oslo, September 03, 2009

The 5th annual Yara Prize for an African Green Revolution recognizes Kenyan banker Peter Munga and the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM), for their profound contributions to the United Nations goal of halving poverty and hunger in Africa by 2015.

The 5th annual Yara Prize for an African Green Revolution recognizes Kenyan banker Peter Munga and the National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM), for their profound contributions to the United Nations goal of halving poverty and hunger in Africa by 2015.

“A wake-up call to African countries.”

Peter K. Munga, Chairman of Equity Bank Limited

Strengthening the position of the smallholder farmer is crucial if progress is to be prevented from falling victim to the global economic crisis, and this year's laureates have transformed the agricultural business landscape.

"Both Equity Bank and NASFAM are prime examples of a locally driven value-chain approach that engages farmers directly and improves their access to markets," Arne Cartridge, Secretary General of the Yara Foundation, said.

Recipient's background

Peter K. Munga serves as Chairman of Equity Bank Limited, which he founded in 1984. His policies enabled millions of poor smallholder farmers vital access to affordable savings and credit facilities. Equity Bank also pioneered a range of innovative arrangements, including mobile rural banking services and widespread agro-dealer financing facilities.

“I would like to dedicate this prize to farmers in Africa who, despite the harsh economic conditions, continue to feed the continent. This is also a wake up call to African countries to devote more money to agriculture to boost food production,” Mr. Munga said.

NASFAM is the largest independent, smallholder-owned membership organization in Malawi. By adopting a stance of treating agriculture as a business, they have developed and delivered programs that increase farmer productivity and commercial clout for the largely female smallholders.

After establishing the Yara Foundation and Prize in 2005, Yara sponsored a series of conferences in Oslo, Norway from 2006 to 2008, and a web site dedicated to the African Green Revolution.

Yara's Africa Program for business development illustrates a commitment to promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs). Yara has played an active role in PPPs in Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania that have improved local and regional markets. In 2008 Yara launched the African Agricultural Growth Corridors concept, aiming to streamline transport systems with investments at two major ports in Mozambique and Tanzania.

The Yara Prize consists of a USD 100,000 endowment, a crystal trophy and a diploma to be received by each laureate. This year’s award ceremony is held in Oslo on Sept. 5.

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