By Mohammed Kandi
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) has honoured Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina for his sustained financial supports towards African agricultural research and development.
A statement by Tony Ohaeri, a Director of Information in the ministry informed that Adesina was also recognised for his inspirational leadership of agricultural development on the continent.
According to FARA, the Award was one of the main events that marked FARA’s 15th year anniversary tagged “CELEBRATE FARA: Delivering Africa’s future through science led agricultural transformation”.
Presenting the Award to Dr. Akinwumi, Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo said the Minister was being honoured for “championing agricultural investments in one of Africa’s fastest growing economies and aggressively implementing bold policy reforms and pursuing innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector thereby moving agriculture away from a development programme to a business issue.”
Dr. Akinbamijo further disclosed that Dr. Adesina until his appointment as a minister was the Vice President that is responsible for policy and partnership at the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) where he fostered cooperation among African governments, donors, farmers’ organisations and the private sector to stimulate agricultural growth and unlock new opportunities for farmers.
Recall that Dr. Adesina had in the past received similar awards including Outstanding Black Agricultural Economist Award from the American Agricultural Economist Association; the YARA prize for his pioneering innovative approaches to improve access by African farmers to Agricultural Inputs; Borlang Council for Agricultural Science and Communication Technology (CAST) Award, Forbs Africa Man of the year 2013, Leadership Nigeria Public Officer of the year 2014, Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), Nigeria’s second highest national honour among others.
Receiving the Award, the minister thanked the Executive Directors of FARA for the honour and promised to work with others to ensure that Africa achieves the 2030 target of food security in the continent.
He called for the creation of inclusive market for all practitioners in the agricultural sector stressing that, “there is need for a percentage of funding in agriculture to be set aside for women who constitute a majority of farmers in the rural areas and who research has proved pay back loans.”