Nestlé has launched a collaboration with the Africa Food Prize to help expedite the transformation of African food systems in order to increase the continent’s food security and resistance to climate change.
The Africa Food Prize awards USD 100,000 to individuals and organisations who are transforming Africa’s agricultural and food systems. The Prize highlights unique agri-food projects and technology innovations that can be reproduced across the continent to promote food security, spur economic growth and development, and alleviate hunger and poverty in Africa. The Africa Food Prize is held by AGRA, an African-led and African-based organization that places smallholder farmers at the heart of the continent’s rising economy by converting agriculture from a single survival fight to farming as a thriving company. AGRA is based in Kenya and operates in 15 African countries.
Dr. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, a plant geneticist from Ghana, was granted the renowned medal this year during the AGRF Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, in September. Dr. Danquah was honored for his remarkable knowledge and leadership in creating and developing the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) into a world-class hub for plant breeding education in Africa.
Nestlé will donate CHF 100,000 to the Africa Food Prize, which will be given out in 2023. The donation will be split between the main award and a special category concentrating on technologies that improve regenerative food systems.
Remy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer of Zone Asia, Oceania and Africa, Nestlé S.A. said, “Transforming agriculture to be more productive and sustainable is key to reducing hunger and improving livelihoods for the long term. We aim to support and amplify efforts that spearhead regenerative agriculture and food systems to enable better productivity, better nutrition and better incomes for people in Africa.”
Commenting on the partnership, Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA 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 2 on Zero Hunger.”
Nestlé’s 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.
Entries in the Africa Food Prize are evaluated by a judging committee comprising some of Africa’s greatest food system leaders. Winners are selected based on proven results and scalable efforts.
Submissions for next year’s Africa Food Prize will be open from January 2023 and winners will be announced at the AGRF, Africa Food Systems Forum, in September.