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News

BORLAUG CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS IN AFRICA

This year marks 100 years since Dr Norman Borlaug, Nobel Laureate and Father of the Green Revolution was born. It was on March 15, 1914 in a small farm village in Iowa, USA. A number of celebrations have taken place across the globe and will finish with major highlights at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines in October. Sasakawa Africa Association, which was co-funded by Dr Borlaug, late Mr Ryoichi Sasakawa and former President of the United States Jimmy Carter will hold Africa celebrations the second week of July in Uganda. This event coincides with Uganda’s annual agricultural show, normally held in Jinja and graced by Uganda’s Head of State. The Borlaug centenary celebrations have already been held in Mexico where Dr Borlaug spent his best research years at CIMMYT working on wheat rust; in India where the leaders led by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi listened to him, adopted the technologies that multiplied grain yields and averted what could have been massive starvation. India now exports grains and has recently enacted legislation to give its poor monthly rations of essential food stuffs. Dr Borlaug’s state of birth, Iowa, is one of the biggest producers of corn (maize) in the world. A building in honor of Dr Borlaug is also being put up in India. As one of the big honors bestowed on Dr Borlaug over the years, Iowa State prepared a statue which was put in the Congress on March 25, 2014.

AJFAND issue No 64 to be published in June 2014 will be dedicated to Dr Borlaug. We want to give those interested, of our readers, a chance to send in a tribute or celebratory message. His work in Africa started later in life; yet he planted a seed which continues to thrive. We have engaged smallholder farmers in value chain interventions over the years, focusing on men, women and the youth , working with governments to upscale viable technologies and have also supported the training of mid level personnel in modern extension methods to enable them serve farmers better, through our programme SAFE (Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education).

You are welcome to send in your contribution.

Ruth Oniang’o
Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND