Prof. Ruth Oniang’o, the Chairperson, Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) and Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), has won the 2017 Africa Food Prize.
Mr Adams Ephraims-Onuche, the Sasakawa Global 2000 Communications Officer made this known in statement to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday.
“The prize was awarded to Prof. Ruth Oniang’o on the third day of the seventh African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) which took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire between Sept. 4 and Sept.8,“ Ephraims-Onuche said.
He said that the honour was in recognition of her role as a leading voice on nutrition in Africa.
“The prize recognises the best examples of those using agriculture to transform people’s lives and stimulate economic growth and development and this year received over 600 nominees,” he said.
He said that this holistic approach to agriculture with an emphasis on nutrition would stand Africa’s smallholder farmers in good stead for generations to come.
“Following the award, Yoshimasa Kanayama, the President of the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), has since congratulated Oniang’o, saying her award is well deserved,” he said.
The Africa Food Prize honours outstanding contributions within every aspect of agriculture and food production that is clearly related to combating hunger and reducing poverty in Africa.
The statement quoted Oniang’o as saying, “I am humbled to receive this prize and believe it highlights the work we have done and more importantly, it will contribute towards shaping our continent’s food future.
“With the Sasakawa Africa Association, our focus is on not just increasing food production, but increasing the capacity of smallholder farmers to add value through agro-processing.
“This will reduce losses with improved postharvest techniques, and increasing access to markets to encourage farming as a sustainable business,” she said.
Oniang’o shares the award with Malian agriculture entrepreneur, Mme Maïmouna Sidibe Coulibaly.