ADDIS ABEBA – Two exceptional professionals, who are both at the same time successful agricultural producers, have today been announced as the joint winners of a $100,000 Africa Food Prize award.
Dr. Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian from Uganda, and Baba Dioum, a policy champion and agricultural entrepreneur from Senegal were recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa´s agriculture through improved resource use and market links.
Rather than pursue a promising institutional career, Dr. Naluyima quit employment to become a farmer, transforming her one-acre plot into a showcase of profitable and environmentally friendly agriculture.
The secret to her success is innovative integration of crop and livestock production, based on recycling of farm resources to provide natural fertilizers and pesticides as well as biogas.
Dr. Naluyima, who generates $100,000 a year from her farm, also hosts up to 10,000 visiting farmers to share knowledge through her advisory service.
A prosperous farmer, Dioum has excelled in the policy sphere, leading the introduction of key reforms in the agriculture sector of his own country, before taking on influential roles in regional and Africa-wide policy development.
With a knack for fostering dialogue and commitment, Dioum successfully promoted cross-border agricultural trade in West Africa and helped significantly to advance the trade dimension of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, who chairs the Africa Food Prize Committee, congratulated Dr. Naluyima and Dioum on behalf of other Committee members.
He praised both for their courage in defying the status quo to open new pathways toward more prosperous agriculture, and for their solidarity with many others who wish to follow in their footsteps.
“What most strikes me about this year´s winners is how their academic and professional success has gone hand in hand with their success as farmers,” said President Obasanjo.
“Rather than turn away from the countryside like so many others, they have embraced farming, using their talents and knowledge to demonstrate its enormous commercial possibilities,” he said.
“In other words, they practice what they preach, and this lends real credibility to their message about the value of technical and policy innovation in agriculture.”
The 2019 winners, chosen from a total of close to 200 nominees, exemplify the central aim of the Africa Food Prize, which is to put a spotlight on innovations that promise to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.