Farmers' Organizations Earn High Honors in Tanzania
Three ACDI/VOCA-supported organizations were presented awards at the African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, September 26-28.
Faso Jigi, in Mali, won the 2012 African Green Revolution Forum Award for best farmer organization, and Neema Agricole du Faso (NAFASO), in neighboring Burkina Faso, won for best private sector organization. Both have been assisted under the USAID-funded West Africa Agribusiness and Trade Promotion (ATP) project.
In addition, ACDI/VOCA has supported the AGRF winner for advocacy organizations, Tanzania’s Rural Urban Development Initiatives (RUDI), since 2007, first under the USAID-funded Smallholder Horticulture Outgrower Promotion (SHOP) project and now under NAFAKA.
Producer Groups in Our DNA
ACDI/VOCA's roots are in the U.S. farmer cooperative movement of the early 1960s. Organizing farmers for self-help is still central to our identity. Co-ops, and their less stringently organized brethren, empower rural producers to exercise economies of scale, bargaining power and political clout. Smalllholders can thereby gain more control over the products of their labor and more of those products' value in the chain of commerce.
The AGRF awards recognize excellence in and create awareness of public-private initiatives to build sustainable African agribusiness, inspire a Green Revolution in Africa and make Africa both food and nutrition secure.
Yara Prize also Awarded
The most prestigious of the awards bestowed at the event was the Yara Prize for outstanding contributions to enhancing agricultural growth and food security in Africa. Yara International, the Norwegian farm chemical giant, awarded this year’s Yara Prize to Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda, and to Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, outgoing CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in Ethiopia.
Dr. Kalibata was recognized for her outstanding leadership in the transformation of food security and agricultural development in Rwanda, and Dr. Gabre-Mahdin was honored for her stewardship of the transformation toward an efficiently functioning market, especially for smallholder coffee growers. They will split a cash award of $60,000.
Pictured at top left: Former UN Secretary Kofi Annan presents AGRF Best Farmer Organization award to Faso Jigi’s Executive Secretary Boubacar Soumare.