Wed. October 13th, 2010
Jay Vroom President of Croplife America Foundation:
Dr John Bonner, Exec VP CAST- Council for Agriculture Science and Technology. Dr Borlaug was for the last three years of his life was a communicator first and foremost. He received an award from Cast in 1973. He told cast they had to expand their borders beyond Iowa and the USA. He commanded that CAST needs to not just research and develop but needs to communicate their work. Dr. Borlaug was critical in increasing support for CAST. He wrote the 1st paper published on CAST and 26 years later his last paper was published through CAST.
Dr. Pedro Sanchez presented the award to Dr. Akin Adesina. He is an agronomist with chlorophyll. At Purdue he is the VP of AGRA- Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa. He developed idea of small crop shops run by families. He came up with idea for micro lending in Africa.
Dr, Akin Adesina: I am honored to win this first renamed award after my hero Dr. Borlaug. Sci and tech critical to improve agriculture. His father told him 'If god even enables you to influence the world make sure it is in agriculture.' Africans are not benefiting enough from the science and technology available. Support for Ag has plummeted. the Gains of the Green Revolution have eroded. World Food Crisis was a wake-up call. The world needs to double efforts for food production. We must lead the power of Sci and Tech to the most powerful force that of communication. Agriculture has been managed as development program but it is not a development program it is a business. You can not eat potential. Need to improve access. Increase Agri dealers across Africa, He took plan to African Union and he organized a summit to accomplish this. The African Fertilizer Summit occured. Dr. Borlaug strong armed the attendees to implement the plan. Wehave long pursued policies of abandoment of the farmers of Africa. We have to subsidize the farmers. It is cheaper then importing food. Plans to take African agriculture from development to a real Business. Need to improve acessto markets so farmers can make profit or this will never work. We must put in mechanisms to ensure adaptability to envirnmental change. There is no such thing as half freedom we will march to freedom when our stomachs are full, our kids are fed and our farmers are self supporting. Then we can say Free at last, free at last.