THE World Food Prize Foundation is partnering with President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, to establish the World Food Prize Africa Institute.
This follows the awarding of the 2017 World Food Prize to Adesina this week in Des Moines, Iowa, where he announced his decision to dedicate the $250,000 cash prize to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa.
Motivated by the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate’s decision, donors have made additional contributions to the fund.
“The World Food Prize-Africa Institute will support young agripreneurs, whom we will call Borlaug-Adesina Fellows. This will allow us to strategically continue Dr Norman Borlaug’s legacy of taking agricultural technologies to the farmers, and my philosophy of promoting and engaging agriculture as a business,” Adesina announced when he deliver the Laureate Address at a Luncheon during the World Food Prize-Borlaug Dialogue Symposium on Friday.
“The Youth of Africa are the future of the continent and to them I pledge my support.”
To support the 2017 Laureate’s quest, John M. Harrington III of Sheffield Corporation has matched the prize money with an additional US $250,000, while John Ruan III, Chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation, has pledged to contribute US $100,000. This brings to US $600,000 the amount now available for Adesina’s proposed fund to grow youth in agriculture and agricultural business.
Adesina praised John M Harrington III and John Ruan III for their donations, and for supporting his desire for new a deal for young African farmers.
In the speech titled “Africa’s pathway out of poverty”, Adesina stressed why Africa needs younger, educated people in the agriculture sector to succeed.
“They will take agriculture as a business. They will make agriculture ‘cool’. I fully expect the future millionaires and billionaires of Africa to come from agriculture,” he said.
The African Development Bank is accelerating investments to get younger commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs into agriculture through a youth in agriculture initiative, ENABLE Youth (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment for Youth).
The bank will also empower women and push for greater access to finance for women.
Adesina is optimistic that these initiatives will help to lift millions out of poverty in Africa and into wealth.