THREE alumni of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, have been named among the 10 winners of the 2019 Borlaug-Adesina Foundation Fellowship under the aegis of the current president of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina’s World Food Prize Foundation. The three FUTA alumni are Emmanuel Maduka, who graduated with a first class honors in Agricultural Extension and Communication Technology in 2018; Olufemi Adesina, who also graduated with first class honors in Agricultural Extension and Communication Technology in 2017, and John Agboola who graduated with a degree in Agricultural Extension and Economics in 2015. Other 2019 fellows are Ife Omotayo (Nigeria), Nicholas Alifa (Nigeria), Victor Mugo (Kenya), Adonai Da Matha San’tana (Benin Republic), Lourena Arone Maxwell (Mozambique), Marriane Enow Tabi (Cameroun) and Solomon A Nimako.
In 2017, Dr Akinwumi Adesina won the World Food Prize of $250,000USD and announced that he would donate the money to a foundation and set up a structure to support young people in agriculture. He also won the $500,000USD Sunhak Prize for Peace, which he also donated to the same cause. That decision gave birth to the World Hunger Fighters Foundation in partnership with the World Food Prize Foundation, USA, and led to the establishment of the Borlaug-Adesina Foundation Fellowship as a year-long fellowship programme, presenting an unparalleled opportunity to outstanding African youths between the ages of 21 and 30 years.
Borlaug-Adesina Fellows were announced at the annual World Food Prize Dialogues in Iowa, USA on October 17, 2019. The fellows will be provided with opportunities to gain exposure and experience at any of the International Agricultural Research Centres around the world, or with a select number of global food and agribusiness companies.
The vice chancellor of FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape, has described the feat of the three alumni, Emmanuel Maduka, Olufemi Adesina, and John Agboola as commendable.