The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) was awarded the 2019 edition of the US$1 million Al-Sumait Prize for African Development on November 25. PABRA, which is coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), shared the award with the Africa Rice Center, said the Al Sumait Prize Board of Trustees in a statement after choosing the winners.

PABRA received the award “for serving a dynamic network of scientists and practitioners specializing in improving the productivity, processing, and the value chain of beans throughout Africa,” according to the announcement.

“PABRA works along the continuum of innovative research to effective adoption and sustainable management of small farmers’ enterprises. It has increased the integration of the important legume component in farming systems, which is important to improve soil fertility, enhance nutritional quality, and serve as a resilient driver in dryland and drought-prone environments,” the Board added.

Established by CIAT in 1996, PABRA is an international network of bean researchers from 31 member countries and more than 350 partners from private sector service providers, producer and civil society organizations, and policy makers.

PABRA provides better beans for farmers especially for smallholder producers, predominately women, to increase bean productivity, food security, nutrition, and incomes. PABRA has released hundreds of improved bean varieties that have consumer-preferred traits and are resistant to pests and diseases, tolerate drought, and are richer in iron and zinc.

On behalf of the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) partnerships, we feel humbled, honoured, and excited  for the recognition the award gives to PABRA teams and partners across Africa. The recognition is an acknowledgement and a major encouragement for PABRA researchers, partners, and supporters contributing in developing innovations for bean value chain actors and investors.

Dr. Robin Buruchara

Director of PABRA

He added that “the award will be an inspiration to PABRA in its effort to promote the bean value chain transformative agenda, and achieve impactful outcomes for millions of smallholder farmers and households in Africa.”

About the prize

Al Sumait Prize Board of Trustees and support staff following agreement on 2019 food security category winners.

The Al-Sumait Prizes are an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, which provides the annual million dollars. The Prize honors the late Abdulrahman Al Sumait, a Kuwaiti physician who dedicated his life to addressing the health challenges confronting Africa.

Administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and a Board of Trustees, Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prizes are a set of annual awards designed to honor significant advances in the fields of food security, health, and education in Africa.

The objective of the prizes is to recognize best studies, scientific projects, applied research, and innovative initiatives that have a significant impact and lasting influence on advancing progress to economic and social development in Africa. www.alsumaitprize.org

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