KENYA – The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) has received the Africa Food Prize for 2023, a recognition of their exceptional leadership in developing diverse bean varieties that enhance farm productivity and profitability while meeting rising consumer demand.
Former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, the Chairperson of the Africa Food Prize, announced the award during the AGRF2023 in Tanzania.
PABRA’s unwavering commitment to improving nutrition and food security across Africa through the cultivation of beans, a crucial source of plant-based proteins and essential micronutrients, has earned them this prestigious accolade.
The Alliance has played a pivotal role in breeding new bean varieties and ensuring their accessibility to farmers throughout the continent.
The award acknowledges PABRA’s tireless efforts in research and development, leading to the creation of over 650 improved bean varieties with diverse favorable characteristics.
These varieties are now cultivated by more than 37 million smallholder farmers in Africa and consumed by over 300 million people, significantly contributing to improved nutrition, health, and food security.
As beans are typically managed by women, PABRA’s initiatives empower more families to enjoy better nutrition and generate income.
The Africa Food Prize, which comes with a prize of US $100,000, celebrates Africans who are actively shaping the agricultural landscape on the continent. It highlights innovative initiatives and technical advancements that can be replicated across Africa, ushering in a new era of food security and economic opportunities.
H.E Jakaya Kikwete commended PABRA for its outstanding contribution to farm productivity, resilience, and competitiveness in Africa.
“PABRA’s dedication to bean research and development and their remarkable impact on overcoming malnutrition through the development of improved bean varieties and complementary technologies are commendable,” he stated.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Jean Claude Rubyogo, the Global Bean Program Leader at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and PABRA Director expressed gratitude for the award, attributing it to the collective effort of the entire PABRA team, including members, partners, funders, and the smallholder farmers they serve.
This recognition marks a historic moment for PABRA, coinciding with the celebration of 25 years of bean research and development and the recent launch of the bean movement, promoting beans as a superfood.
PABRA sees this award as a significant win for women in agriculture and sustainable food systems, as it empowers women throughout the bean value chain.
The Africa Food Prize criteria, which assess contributions to poverty reduction, nutrition security, livelihood improvement, scalability, replication, and sustainability, affirm PABRA’s impactful work in transforming agriculture across the continent.