Each year, the Indian Council for food and agriculture (ICFA) organizes an agriculture awards summit in India. In September 2017, the organization hosted the 10th agricultural leadership summit at the Taj Mahal. Since its inception, the global agriculture leadership awards bring together key stakeholders to deliberate on the constraints and opportunities in the food and agriculture sector. The participants in the event included industry experts, agriculture ministers and social influencers among other stakeholders who among other things launched an agricultural yearbook covering key issues in the industry. The global agricultural leadership summit also gives awards to institutions and individuals who have played a critical role in positively influencing agriculture. Launched in 2008, these awards cover different topical areas such as entrepreneurship, global leadership, and innovation.
The 10th global agricultural leadership awards recognized the efforts of several people in advancing the agenda of agriculture. Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki was awarded this year’s African development award. Dr. Mayaki, a seasoned agriculturalist, has been deeply committed to the attainment of food and nutritional security. In Niger, his home country, Dr. Mayaki has spearheaded several projects that have alleviated food insecurity in the face of chronic famine. He has also been instrumental in the development of legislative reforms aimed at mitigating Niger’s poverty issues through agriculture. In his role at NEPAD, Dr. Mayaki has been actively mobilizing for global resources that are needed in meeting Africa’s goal of food security.
India’s chief minister, Chandrasekhar Rao was also awarded a leadership award at the 10th Agricultural Awards. Mr. Rao, who has been conferred with the award on policy leadership, has been involved in the empowerment of rural farmers in Telangana. In the past couple of years, Telengana has been plagued by severe water scarcity attributed to the ongoing drought. As a result, agriculture in this Indian state suffered immensely. These effects were felt by a wide majority of the residents who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. In response to this situation, Mr. Rao played a critical role in mobilizing resources for the implementation of irrigation projects in Telangana.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn was another notable awardee at this year’s agriculture awards. Ambassador Quinn is a well-known name in the agricultural sector for his role in the world food prize foundation. These awards are important as they not only acknowledge contributions in advancing quantity of food (food security) but also in pushing for the quality of food (nutritional security). Ambassador Quinn has thus contributed to the mitigation of food insecurity through his efforts in the World food prize foundation and in his diplomatic career. Due to his role in these awards, Ambassador Quinn was conferred with an international leadership award.