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Purdue Alumni World Food Prize Winner

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A 1988 agriculture economics graduate from Purdue now president of the African Development Bank, was announced Monday as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Adesina of Nigeria for his leading role over the past two decades in significantly expanding food production in Nigeria, introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent and galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, was announced Monday as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave keynote remarks and applauded the selection.

Awarded by the World Food Prize Foundation, the $250,000 prize honors Adesina of Nigeria for his leading role over the past two decades in significantly expanding food production in Nigeria, introducing initiatives to exponentially increase the availability of credit for smallholder farmers across the African continent and galvanizing the political will to transform African agriculture.

“The selection of President Akinwumi Adesina as the 2017 World Food Prize laureate reflects both his breakthrough achievements as minister of agriculture of Nigeria and his critical role in the development of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). It also gives further impetus to his profound vision for enhancing nutrition, uplifting smallholder farmers and inspiring the next generation of Africans as they confront the challenges of the 21st century,” Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, said in making the announcement of Adesina’s selection

As Nigeria’s minister of agriculture from 2011 to 2015, Adesina’s policies expanded Nigeria’s food production by 21 million metric tons, and the country attracted $5.6 billion in private-sector investments in agriculture — earning him a reputation as the “farmer’s minister.” Adesina successfully transformed his country’s agriculture sector through bold reforms, including creating programs to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and to help cassava become a major cash crop.