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Sunday, 05 September 2010 15:50

Former United Nations Secretary-General Receives Borlaug Medallion

ACCRA, Ghana, Sept. 5, 2010 (GNA) - Former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi A. Annan was awarded the Borlaug Medallion by World Food Prize Foundation in recognition of his global leadership and commitment to improving food security in Africa.


Former United Nations Secretary-General Receives Borlaug MedallionACCRA, Ghana, Sept. 5, 2010 (GNA) - Former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi A. Annan was awarded the Borlaug Medallion by World Food Prize Foundation in recognition of his global leadership and commitment to improving food security in Africa.The Former UN Secretary-General, who is Chairman of the Board for Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), received the award from the World Food Prize Foundation President, Kenneth M. Quinn, at the first-ever African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra.


This was contained in a release jointly issued by Ingrid Helsingen Warner, Director of Communications and Arne Cartridge Executive Co-Producer at the Forum.


"It is a great honour to receive this award in my home country Ghana. We are making great strides in putting farmers and agriculture at the centre of our development," said Mr Annan.


"Public and private partners are working closely together to transform Africa's agriculture to benefit smallholder farmers and increase food security and nutrition in Ghana and across the continent.


"We have left farmers to sink or swim without help for far too long," he said. 93After decades of neglect, agriculture has returned to the development agenda. Now it is time to bring together the many players =96 from farmers to CEOs 96 to achieve rapid, large-scale results that will put an end to hunger and poverty."


Presenting the award, Mr Quinn said over the past decade, no one has worked more than Mr Annan to bring attention to the critical issue of global food security and nutrition around the world nor in fulfilling Norman Borlaug's dream of bringing the Green Revolution to Africa.


The forum continues on Friday with an AGRF session to celebrate the achievements of Dr Norman Borlaug and looking at the progress of the Green Revolution for Africa.


Dr Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for the impact of his agricultural innovations that are credited with saving over a billion people from famine in Asia and Latin America.


Speakers at the session were: Nigerian Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Gebisa Ejeta, World Food Prize Laureate 2009 and Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University and Monty Jones, Executive Secretary of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.


As UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006, Mr Annan was instrumental in laying out the Millennium Development Goals, a strategy to meet the needs of the world's poorest countries by 2015.


One of the eight identified goals is to 93eradicate extreme poverty and hunger." The UN hopes to 93halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger."


In 2001, Mr Annan and the United Nations received the Nobel Peace Prize.


Mr Annan is the Chairman of AGRF and Chairman of the Board of AGRA, one of AGRF's strategic partners.


AGRA works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers.


The World Food Prize was founded nearly 25 years ago by Norman Borlaug to recognize and encourage achievements around the globe in food and agriculture. It is awarded annually.


The Norman E. Borlaug Medallion was created to recognize world leaders whose actions have benefited mankind but who would not normally be considered for the World Food Prize, which is primarily awarded to science, policy, and development experts for a specific, exceptionally significant, individual achievement along the full range of the food production and distribution chain.


It has only been awarded to two other people: Yohei Sasakawa and the Nippon Foundation of Japan earlier this year, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in 2007.


The AGRF is a public and private sector-led forum, bringing together African Heads of State, ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society and scientists to an African-led forum.


It focuses on promoting investments and policy support for driving agricultural productivity and income growth for African farmers in an environmentally sustainable way.


This public-private network is a catalyst for the African Green Revolution called for by former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in 2004.


The AGRF gathered momentum during three successful African Green Revolution Conferences in Oslo, Norway.


It is supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Yara, the Rockefeller Foundation, IFAD, NEPAD, African Development Bank and Standard Bank.


AGRF's industry sponsor is Norad and other sponsors include African Export Import Bank, OCP and Ecobank. CNN is the broadcast media partner and Jeune Afrique and the Africa Report are print media partners.


AGRA aims to ensure that smallholders have what they need to succeed: good seeds and healthy soils; access to markets, information, financing, storage and transport; and policies that provide them with comprehensive support.


Through developing Africa's high-potential breadbasket areas, while also boosting farm productivity across more challenging environments, AGRA works to transform smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, sustainable and competitive system, while protecting the environment.


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