[Nairobi, Kenya; November 2023] The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) was announced as the joint winner of the $1 million Al-Sumait Prize for African Development for empowering smallholder farmers across 24 African countries to access agricultural technologies that can address challenges related to farm productivity and resilience to the impact of climate change.
Founded in 2003, AATF was feted for facilitating access to innovative agricultural technologies worth over $650 million during its 20 years in operation, benefiting 4.8 million African smallholder farmers in 24 countries in the west, eastern, south, and central regions of the continent.
The announcement was made by the Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development. The prize with a nominal value of $1 million was awarded to AATF jointly with Dr. Catherine Nakalembean, an expert in crop mapping and monitoring, and the NASA Harvest Program at the University of Maryland.
While reacting to the news, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director, of AATF, noted that the organization and its partners have tapped into Science, Technology, and Innovation to contribute to the wealth, health, and resilience of Africa’s smallholder farmers in view of various challenges, including climate change and infestation by pests.
“AATF continues to amplify its impact with the commercialization of more new productivity-enhancing, pest-resistant, and drought-tolerant products for our farmers,” he said.
He added that AATF has witnessed tremendous impacts in the delivery of affordable technologies and innovations to African farmers following a conducive environment created by governments and established collaborations with the private sector, NGOs, researchers, and farmers to facilitate the adoption of technology that targets specific production challenges in the farming and food systems.
“To facilitate development, uptake, and use of these advanced technologies, AATF actively works with country governments to negotiate and access these technologies for adoption by farmers,” he stated.
The annual Al-Sumait Prize honors individuals or institutions who have, through their work or research, made significant advances in the fields of food security, health, and education in Africa.
The award recognizes studies, scientific projects, applied research, and innovative initiatives that have had a significant impact and influence in advancing Africa’s economic and social development.
Photo: Courtesy: AL-SUMAIT PRIZE FOR AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT