The Yara Prize has become an influential event for those engaged in the transformation of agriculture in Africa. In this past decade, the winners have ranged from ministers to smallholder farmers with one thing in common: a profound impact on African agriculture. Ten years after the prize was introduced, Yara added a new dimension by turning it into an African Prize for Agriculture and Food Security.
Yara Prize to be transformed into new African agriculture and food security prize
The Yara Prize will be transformed into a new
African agriculture and food security prize according to an announcement on October 1, 2015, at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Lusaka, Zambia.
“This new African agriculture and food security prize will continue to embody the values established by the Yara Prize, which has become a powerful beacon for attracting global attention to the impressive women and men who are forging a new future for African agriculture,” said Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and a past prize recipient.
“Since the prize was launched ten years ago it has grown in stature in its mission to contribute to the transformation of African agriculture and food and nutrition security,” said Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara. “For the prize to now assume a new African identity is a natural evolution and will rightfully place it among the world’s most important accolades honoring agriculture achievements.”
The new African agriculture and food security prize will be administered by AGRA, which is working closely with Yara to form a new committee of experts in agriculture and food security that will identify and evaluate nominees for the award, as well as to identify an eminent and independent African leader to chair the prize selection committee.
Yara Prize history
A large part of African farmers are smallholders, still largely operating on a subsistence level – and a great number of them are women. With few assets, including title to their land, smallholders are vulnerable to changing environments, financial or climatic. Agriculture is still the sector employing most people, but output has lagged behind population increase, leaving Africa in a dire situation when it comes to food security. African smallholder farmers are food vulnerable, often suffering from hunger. Key ways to rectify these imbalances are to make agriculture a profitable business and to help peasants become entrepreneurs.
The Yara Prize for a Green Revolution in Africa recognizes significant contributions to the reduction of hunger and poverty in Africa. The Prize honors endeavors that increase food productivity, security or availability through improvements in food systems, advancements in sustainable agriculture and development of local markets – and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Yara Prize was awarded annually in the years 2005–2009 and reinstituted in 2012 in connection with the African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania. The laureates represent a diverse range of African society engaged in the African Green Revolution: entrepreneurs and scientists, activists and organizers, businessmen and politicians.
After participating in the UN’s Hunger Task Force Yara established the prize as a way to encourage the development of African agriculture and food production – connected both to the call for an African Green Revolution and to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The Task Force recommended interventions aimed to increase food output and combat hunger, including the need to provide growers with inputs and improve their access to output markets. The prize consists of a USD 60,000 grant, a glass trophy and a diploma. Winners are chosen by the Yara Prize Committee.
Read more about previous laureates: