Dr. André Bationo and Dr. Catherine Nakalembe have been announced as the 2020 winners of the Africa Food Prize (AFP) for their exceptional contribution towards the promotion of food security across the continent.
Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, a Ugandan researcher, has been honored for her dedication to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by using satellite technology to harness data to guide agricultural decision-making. Her work in this area has helped prevent potentially disastrous impacts of crop failure. Her relentless efforts have also promoted the formulation of policies and programs that are directly impacting farmers against the impacts of food failure.
She becomes the second Uganda to win the prize. last year, 2019, Dr. Emma Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian was recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in agriculture through improved resource use and market links.
“We need innovative Africans like Dr. Bationo and Dr. Nakalembe to demonstrate the potential of new knowledge and technology together with practical technologies that help improve the value proposition for farmers. These two are indeed exceptional Africans,” said H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Chair, Africa Food Prize Committee
The Africa Food Prize exists to reward pioneering efforts to overcome obstacles across the agriculture value chain including limited access to high quality agricultural inputs, difficulties in accessing markets as well as the negative impact of climate change.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Catherine Nakalembe said that she is keen on working with various stakeholders in promoting confidence among ministry leaders to enable them to proactively dedicate resources towards food security rather than retroactively addressing the negative impacts of major food events.
“I believe that together, we can harness the great potential of our farms to achieve sustainable food systems across the continent.”
The Africa Food Prize recognizes extraordinary women, men, and institutions whose outstanding contributions to African agriculture are forging a new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans.
The US $100,000 prize celebrates Africans who are taking control of Africa’s agriculture agenda. It puts a spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.