After a month of frenzied online voting, we have a winner in ACDI/VOCA’s annual photo contest, organized by the HQ Communications & Outreach (C&O) team. The public voted throughout April and May to select their favorite photo from eight finalists. The finalists had been selected by C&O from over 120 submissions. The photos celebrate our people-centered work around the world. And the winner is Filbert Mzee Nkatola, a seed specialist and master trainer with the Tanzania NAFAKA project. Filbert wins a Canon camera and his acclaimed shot will be framed and hung alongside past years’ winners at HQ.
NAFAKA, a five-year USAID Feed the Future project, integrates agriculture, gender, environment, and nutrition to reduce poverty and food insecurity. It aims to increase rice yields by 210 percent and train over 80,000 farmers in new agricultural techniques by project’s end.
Filbert’s photo, captioned “Farmers transplanting rice seedlings into Urea deep placement trial at Dakawa, Tanzania,” depicts NAFAKA’s efforts to improve smallholder productivity and profitability in the rice and maize value chains. On this particular Saturday morning, NAFAKA staff were conducting a trial of urea fertilizer at the Agricultural Research Institute.
Filbert, who’s been with ACDI/VOCA for two months but who joined NAFAKA four years ago through subcontractor the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), says that he’s always had an interest in photography. “I really believe that a picture talks more than 1,000 words.” He says that winning the photo contest is a “dream come true” and encourages others to submit photos to future contests. He adds “don’t be afraid to send photos, you never know. Everyone has an equal chance to win. I thank all of the people who voted for my photo and to the fellow photo contestants. Today it’s me, tomorrow another person will win.”
Thanks to staff’s robust participation, C&O is acquiring more staff-sourced photos to illustrate future publications, proposal covers, and our website. We thank all participating photographers and those who voted. Finally, we welcome project staff to send us their photos throughout the year. With your help, we can enhance our publications and proposals with dynamic, authentic project photos.