Thursday, 23 June 2011

2011 World Food Prize winners announced

Former Ghanaian president John Agyekum Kufuor, along with former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been given the 2011 World Food Prize award in a ceremony at the US State Department. Kufuor was warded a £155,000 for improving Ghana's cocoa industry and significantly reducing hunger levels in Ghana during his eight years in power.

The World Food Prize Foundation is honouring the two former presidents for creating and implementing government policies that alleviated hunger and poverty in their countries. The winners were commended by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Kufuor was also applauded for keeping Ghana on course to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals by cutting in half the proportion of population living in hunger and on less than one dollar per month.

Speaking to Citi News Wednesday June 22nd, Kufuor said: “'I am overjoyed with it because whilst in Government I knew that poverty and hunger went hand in hand and so my Government tried very hard to lift our country out of that bracket. Especially in line with the Millennium Development Goals, the first item was to fight against hunger and poverty. So we did work that passionately hoping to help Ghana. We tried to improve agricultural production because over 60 per cent of our people are rural and they live on agriculture. There is so much unemployment at home so we thought if we improved agriculture, modernised and commercialised it, we will be fighting against unemployment and poverty and along with it hunger, and I think we went some way.”

The two winners will be formally awarded the World Food Prize at the 25th Anniversary Laureate Award Ceremony on 13th October 2011.

Sources: BBC News, Modern Ghana, International Business Times

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

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