Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Niigata International Food Award

On 29 October, Prof Monty Jones, Executive Director of FARA, was awarded the Main Prize of the 1st Niigata International Food Award for his leadership role in the development of NERICA. 

No less than 95 nominations were received from 15 countries. Dr Hideaki Karaki, Vice President of the Science Council of Japan and Chairperson of the 11-member screening committee, defined the screening criteria as follows: ‘The winner’s project should have universal value for the world and/or improve human lives.’
The Niigata International Food Award consists of three separate prizes: the Main Prize, the Sano Touzaburo Special Prize (for increasing food supply/harvest in developing countries), and the 21st Century Hope Special Prize (for young, promising candidates below age 40).
The Main Prize went to Prof Monty Jones, whose leadership in the development of NERICA, which expresses the high yield characteristics of Asian rice and the fast growth and suitability to the African climate of African rice. NERICA rice has improved the productivity of farmers across Africa and raised the food security level of fragile, small family farms. The increased yield of this crop has resulted in reduced reliance on rice imports, and increased independence and financial security for smaller farmers.

The Sano Touzaburo Prize went to Mr Yuan Long Ping, Chief Researcher at the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center, who dramatically improved harvests far beyond other conventional hybrid rice varieties. Dr Fumihiro Fujimori, winner of the 21st Century Hope Special Prize, an Associate Professor at the Tokyo Kasei University, led a team that developed a large-scale database of the fungal genetic code (cDNA).

Read more:
Niigata Award Ceremony issue 01/12/2010

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