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Food supply project Tigray in Ethiopia wins Gothenburg Award

Tigrai Online
Dec. 14 2011

Sue Edwards from the Tigray Project - Tigrai Online

Cultivated land is essential to the development of society and competition for land is intensifying. The need for food is expected to grow by some 70 percent by 2050 while there are already a billion undernourished people on the planet today. Africa is the continent with the most difficult conditions. However, it’s possible to change this trend by allowing agriculture to become the motor behind development in society through ecological and sustainable social and financial means.

For this reason the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development 2011 is awarded to a person and an organisation for their work in the field of sustainable food supply.

The prize of one million Swedish krona is shared equally by:

The former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, who has become a leader of Africa’s green revolution.
•  The Tigray Project, which started out as a local initiative aimed at small farmers in northern Ethiopia and has resulted in both better harvests and less environmental impact.

I can think of nothing more worthy, vital or sensible to give the award to than sustainable food supply in combination with fighting against poverty and developing society. I am also very pleased that Kofi Annan and Sue Edwards from the Tigray Project want to come to Gothenburg and share their exciting experiences with us,” says John Holmberg, Chairman of the Gothenburg Award and Vice President at Chalmers University of Technology.

The Gothenburg Award was founded in 1999 by the City of Gothenburg and several businesses with the following aim: to stimulate further development and recognize strategic work in sustainable development, nationally and internationally.

The Award is funded by the City of Gothenburg together with the Second Swedish National Pension Fund, Carl Bennet AB, Elanders AB, Eldan Recycling, Folksam, Götaverken Miljö, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Peab, Schenker AB and SKF.

This is the twelfth time the prize has been awarded and the winners will receive their prize at an award ceremony later on this year in Gothenburg.

Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan, born 1938 and a former diplomat of Ghana, was Secretary-General of the United Nations during1997-2006. After this he has used his stature, leadership and network to become a positive force in Africa’s development, focusing on the importance of agriculture in this process. Kofi Annan has acted as a bridge between Western capital and knowledgeable, good local initiatives in Africa.

An example of this is his strong engagement for a “green revolution” on Africa’s own terms which, among other things, has been critical in the development of AGRA. In a short time this organization has taken a leading role in the work to materialize the vision of an Africa with a better standard of living and a food supply chain that functions well. Since 2006 AGRA has successfully launched a broad, systematic process to create the basis for economic development starting with small-scale farming, which is normally run by women and involves many people.

In this same spirit Kofi Annan has throughout his life relentlessly fought poverty and worked for a global sustainable future. He is an inspiration to us all.
Read more about AGRA here.

Tigray Project
The Tigray Project in northern Ethiopia has worked systematically and persistently to develop sustainable farming built on local resources. Since 1996 the Tigray Project has worked in an area with impoverished soils, hit hard by erosion and droughts, to turn the tide. 

The project is aimed at small farmers, in particular women who cultivate small plots of land. It has resulted in farming that generates better harvests and greater incomes while raising ground water levels, soil fertility and biodiversity.

The cooperation between the area’s farmers and national experts is a good exchange of knowledge and experience which increases the knowledge and competence of everyone involved. The Tigray Project’s success has earned it international attention, and experience gained from the project is now being spread in 165 districts in the grain belt of Ethiopia. Read more about the Tigray Project here.

Source Gothernburg Award