Accra, Ghana | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s Emma Naluyima, a trained veterinary doctor and Senegalese forestry engineer Baba Dioum were this week named joint winners of the 2019 Africa Food Prize, a US $100,000 award celebrating those taking control of the continent’s agricultural agenda.
Dr. Naluyima, a smallholder farmer and private veterinarian, and Baba Dioum, a policy champion and agricultural entrepreneur from Senegal were recognized for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa´s agriculture through improved resource use and market links.
“Rather than pursue a promising institutional career, I quit employment to become a farmer, and transformed my one-acre plot into a showcase of profitable and environmentally friendly agriculture” she said before receiving the prize at a colorful gala in Accra on Wednesday.
The gala was attended by close to 3,000 delegates, including various heads of states and dignitaries from across Africa. Dr. Naluyima was recognized for her role in promoting innovative and sustainable growth in Africa’s agriculture on a one-acre farm.
The renowned farmer and the 2014 winner of Uganda’s Best Farmers’ competition organised by Vision Group, practices integrated farming and has trained thousands of Ugandans to maximize yields from compact pieces of land.
Her farm is divided into quarters with pigs, cows and fish taking a piece each as matoke and vegetables occupy the last one. So successful was Dr Naluyima in piggery especially, that locals nicknamed her ‘Maama Pig’.
“But the thing that has distinguished me from the average farmer in my country is that I have been advantaged to implement scientific strategies that optimally use the land.”
Naluyima’s is integrated farming, a system combining cultivation methods with natural and chemical pest control.
“From the pigs, I collect manure that I use to fertilize the matoke and vegetable patches. I also use vermiculture on some of the pig and cow dung to create organic pesticides for my crops and to grow maggots that I feed my fish on. This is in addition to generating biogas from the same waste,” she said.
The Africa Food Prize puts a spotlight on bold initiatives and technical innovations that can be replicated across the continent to create a new era of food security and economic opportunity for all Africans.