A large part of African farmers are smallholders, still largely operating on a subsistence level – and a great number of them are women. With few assets, including title to their land, smallholders are vulnerable to changing environments, financial or climatic. Agriculture is still the sector employing most people, but output has lagged behind population increase, leaving Africa in a dire situation when it comes to food security. African smallholder farmers are food vulnerable, often suffering from hunger. Key ways to rectify these imbalances are to make agriculture a profitable business and to help peasants become entrepreneurs.
The Yara Prize for a Green Revolution in Africa recognizes significant contributions to the reduction of hunger and poverty in Africa. The Prize honors endeavors that increase food productivity, security or availability through improvements in food systems, advancements in sustainable agriculture and development of local markets – and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Yara Prize was awarded annually in the years 2005–2009 and reinstituted in 2012 in connection with the African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania. During the first five years the Yara Prize was awarded to eight individuals and one organization representing seven countries in total. The laureates represent a diverse range of African society engaged in the African Green Revolution: entrepreneurs and scientists, activists and organizers, businessmen and politicians.
After participating in the UN’s Hunger Task Force Yara established the prize as a way to encourage the development of African agriculture and food production – connected both to the call for an African Green Revolution and to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The Task Force recommended interventions aimed to increase food output and combat hunger, including the need to provide growers with inputs and improve their access to output markets. The prize consists of a USD 60,000 grant, a glass trophy and a diploma. Winners are chosen by the Yara Prize Committee.
Read more about previous laureates and the nomination process: