The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) announces that the prestigious 2010 Borlaug CAST Communication Award goes to Dr. Akin Adesina, a distinguished scientist, leader, and communicator who has been working passionately for Africa's Green Revolution. Dr. Adesina currently serves as a vice president for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where he helps set policy and advises former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan, current president of AGRA. A world-class scholar, Dr. Adesina influences policymakers with his informed speeches, published papers, and tireless leadership, but he is also known for his "common sense realism." As he says, "Agriculture is the key to poverty reduction and broad-based economic growth in Africa."
Dr. Adesina will receive the award during the CropLife America (CLA) 2010 Annual Meeting on September 25, in Naples, Florida. CAST President Dr. Todd Peterson will present the unique bronze statue to Dr. Adesina, who will then speak to the CLA audience and share his thoughts on the importance of scientific research and communications in modern agriculture. Joining Dr. Adesina will be Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Dr. Norman Borlaug and Assistant Director of Partnerships for the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. The Borlaug CAST Communication Award honors the legacies of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Borlaug and Dr. Charles A. Black, the first president of CAST. These men embodied the passion for agricultural research and technology, as well as the dedication to communicating and sharing the accomplishments of agriculture, which the CAST award recognizes annually.
With a long list of accomplishments, Dr. Adesina exemplifies the spirit of the CAST award. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics at Purdue University and has subsequently published scores of scientific papers, delivered numerous keynote addresses, and garnered several awards including the Yara Prize for a Green Revolution in Africa presented in Oslo, Norway. At the time, Dr. Adesina stated that "Africa needs a unique Green Revolution...one that takes into consideration Africa's diversity." He noted the continent's varied crops, its biodiversity, its different conservation issues, and the fact that many of Africa's farmers are women.
Dr. Adesina has also worked with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was described by his colleagues as a "driving force" behind the landmark Africa Fertilizer Summit, at which 40 heads of state agreed to solve Africa's fertilizer crisis in the advancement toward an African Green Revolution. Dr. Adesina has repeatedly proved that he possesses the unique ability to "design, inspire, and galvanize support" for agricultural programs. He is passionate about communicating his ideas and solutions in an effort to help others.
This year's award is sponsored by the CropLife Foundation, an organization dedicated to science-based research and discovery in modern agriculture. The Borlaug CAST Communication Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in his or her area of expertise within the agricultural, environmental, or food sciences sectors, and they are recognized by their peers as individuals who communicate the importance of their scientific achievements to policymakers, the news media, and the public.
Since 1986, CAST has honored 23 outstanding scientists. For more information, visit the CAST website at www.cast-science.org.