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Nestlé injects US$ 100 000 in Africa Food Prize

A smallholder farmer

By Hillary Munedzi

Nestlé in conjunction with Africa Food Prize will award US$ 100 000 to individuals and institutions that are pioneering agricultural and transforming food systems in Africa and strengthening the continent’s food security as rich and emerging economies come together under a “climate solidarity pact to keep the 1.5 degrees celsius within reach.”

Meanwhile, the Pan African Parliament (PAP) is hosting the first session of the Sixth Parliament as legislators on the continent are working on a Model Law on Food Security and Nutrition.

To put the initiative into perspective, drought in Kenya has killed 2.5 million livestock this year, causing $1.5 billion in economic losses. Hungry children have been dropping out of school and the government is buying feed for wildlife.

The Prize puts a spotlight on uniquely impactful agri-food initiatives and technological innovations that can be replicated across the continent to increase food security, spur economic growth and development, and eliminate hunger and poverty in Africa.

Nestle will contribute CHF 100,000 to the Africa Food Prize, which will be awarded in 2023. Part of the contribution will go to the main award and part to a special category focusing on innovations that advance regenerative food systems.

“Transforming agriculture to be more productive and sustainable is key to reducing hunger and improving livelihoods for the long term. We aim to support and amplify efforts that spearhead regenerative agriculture and food systems to enable, better productivity, better nutrition, and better incomes for people in Africa,” said Remy Ejel, Chief Executive Officer of Zone Asia, Oceania and Africa, Nestlé S.A.

The Africa Food Prize is hosted by AGRA, an African-led and Africa-based institution that puts smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle but empowering farmers to run farming as a business.

“We are happy to be partnering with Nestlé to recognize Africa’s best in food systems. The Africa food prize is a great opportunity to shine a bright spotlight on Africa’s outstanding minds, giving the rest of us a chance to learn and replicate their good work that is moving us closer to sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2 on Zero hunger,” commenting on the partnership, Dr. Agnes Kalabata President of AGRA.

In early 2022 Nestlé, launched an Innovative income accelerator program, aimed at addressing child labour risks and closing the living income gap for cocoa-farming communities in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Recently, Nestlé announced an investment of CHF 1 billion by 2030 under the Nescafé Plan to transition to sustainable coffee farming, including in Cote d’Ivoire.

Entries in the Africa Food Prize are evaluated by a judging committee comprising some of Africa’s greatest food system leaders. Winners are selected based on proven results and scalable efforts

Submissions for next year’s Africa Food Prize will be open from January 2023 and winners will be pronounced at the AGRF, Africa Food Systems Forum, in September.

AGRA is headquartered in Kenya and works in 15 African countries.

Food giant Nestle has partnered with Africa Food Prize in a bid to accelerate the transformation of food systems in Africa that will strengthen the continent’s food security and build greater climate change resilience in Africa.

Chief Fortune Charumbira, the President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), on the sidelines of the first session of the PAP’s Sixth Parliament, revealed that the continental legislative body will in May of 2023 host the African Food Festival to be headlined by cultural food festivities in South Africa, the host of the Parliament.

“One of the aims of the African Food Festival is to advance intercultural development, indigenous knowledge systems, and sustainable livelihoods through food and nutrition.  We are working on modalities to celebrate this culture during Africa month – May 2023,” Chief Charumbira told Spiked Online Media.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende