Nestlé has launched a partnership with the Africa Agricultural Prize to hasten the transformation of food systems, as part of efforts to improve the food security and climate change resilience of the continent.
The Africa Food Prize gives US$100,000 to people or organizations who are revolutionizing the continent’s food and agricultural systems.
With the goal of boosting food security, promoting economic growth and development and eradicating hunger and poverty in Africa, the Prize shines a focus on particularly effective agri-food initiatives and technology advancements that can be duplicated throughout the continent.
The Africa Food Prize, according to the organizers, is hosted by AGRA, an African-led and African-based organization that transforms agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives.
AGRA puts smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy. With its headquarters in Kenya, AGRA operates in 15 African nations.
“This year, a plant geneticist from Ghana, Dr Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, was awarded the prestigious prize during September’s AGRF Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr Danquah was celebrated for his outstanding expertise and leadership in establishing the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) and developing it into a world-class centre for the education of plant breeders in Africa.
“Nestlé will contribute CHF 100,000 to the Africa Food Prize, which will be awarded in 2023. Part of the contribution will go to the main award and part to a special category focusing on innovations that advance regenerative food systems.”
According to Nestlé S.A. Remy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer of Zone Asia, Oceania, and Africa, agriculture must be transformed to become more productive and sustainable if hunger is to be reduced and long-term lives improved. To enable improved productivity, better nutrition, and better incomes for people in Africa, “we strive to promote and magnify projects that spearhead regenerative agriculture and food systems.”
Commenting on the partnership, President of AGRA, Dr Agnes Kalibata, said, “We are happy to be partnering with Nestlé to recognize Africa’s best in food systems. The Africa Food Prize is a great opportunity to shine a bright spotlight on Africa’s outstanding minds, giving the rest of us a chance to learn and replicate their good work that is moving us closer to sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 on Zero Hunger.”
Nestlé on its part reiterated that its partnership with the Africa Food Prize builds on its years-long work in Africa to improve the continent’s nutrition and agriculture. “The company has taken great strides to expand access to affordable nutrition in many communities, for example, by fortifying Maggi bouillon cubes with iron in Central and West Africa. It is also pioneering regenerative dairy farming with the establishment of the first net-zero dairy farm in Skimmelkran, South Africa.
“In early 2022, Nestlé launched an innovative income accelerator program, aimed at addressing child labor risks and closing the living income gap for cocoa-farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Recently, Nestlé announced an investment of CHF 1 billion by 2030 under the Nescafé Plan to transition to sustainable coffee farming, including in Côte d’Ivoire.”
Story was adapted from Sun.