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World Agriculture Prize Is Awarded at Nanjing Agricultural University

On Oct. 28th, the award ceremony of 2018 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize and "The Belt and Road" Forum on Agricultural Science and Education cooperation was held at Nanjing Agricultural University. Unlike previous years, this year, one winner from a developing country was added who is professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah from University of Ghana. He, together with professor Rattan Lal from The Ohio State University jointly won the 2018GCHERA World Agriculture Prize.

The World Agriculture Prize (WAP for short) was initiated by professor Zhai Huqu, former president of Chinese Academy of Agricultural sciences, and professor Zhou Guanghong, director member of Education Special Committee of China Agricultural Society and president of Nanjing Agricultural University on October 20th, 2012, on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the founding of Nanjing Agricultural University. It is an international award established by GCHERA and aims to encourage the individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the aspects of education, research and innovation in the field of agriculture and life sciences in institutions of higher learning, involving agriculture, forestry, natural resources, food, bio-based products, biomass energy, rural development and natural environment.

On the morning of Oct. 28th, more than 100 leaders of agriculture-related universities and experts at home and abroad from 15 countries including USA, Canada, South Africa, etc. attended the award ceremony. “Almost all of the previous winners have come from developed countries,” professor Hu Feng, vice president of Nanjing Agricultural University said. To fully reflect the fairness and representativeness of the awards, the number of awards has been increased to 2 since 2018, respectively one from developed countries and one from developing countries.

Professor Danquah has dedicated himself to the breeding development and promotion of local quality crop varieties for a long time. The three varieties of high-yield maize developed by him in Ghana have significantly increased the maize yields. In 2007, he promoted to establish an improvement center for west African crops at University of Ghana. For more than a decade, the center has enrolled 114 plant breeding doctors from 18 African countries, among whom 66 have led plant breeding programs at national agricultural research institutes in Africa after graduation. Professor Lal, from USA, has been concerned about the sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems and soil resources for a long time. 40 years ago, he was the first person in the world to carry out the study on the effects of deforestation on climate, soil and crop growth.

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