John Kufuor receives World Food Prize
John Kufuor (1961, PPE) has been awarded the 2011 World Food Prize jointly with Luiz da Silva. They were awarded the prize for their leadership and commitment to alleviating hunger and poverty in their countries while serving as the presidents of Ghana and Brazil respectively.
The World Food Prize is the foremost international award for individual achievements in improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.
During his two terms in office, Mr Kufuor implemented major economic and educational policies that increased the quality and quantity of food to Ghanaians, enhanced farmers’ incomes, and improved school attendance and child nutrition through a nationwide feeding programme. Under his leadership, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to cut in half the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, and the proportion of people living on less than a dollar per day. He prioritised agricultural policies, with Ghana seeing a reduction in its poverty rate from 51.7% in 1991 to 26.5% in 2008, and hunger being reduced from 34% in 1990 down to 9% in 2004.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme, launched by Mr Kufuor, provided one nutritious locally produced meal a day for school children in kindergarten through to junior high school (ages four to 14). This programme dramatically reduced the level of chronic hunger and malnutrition while improving attendance. By the end of 2010, over a million primary school children were benefitting from this programme.
Ghana’s political stability, economic reforms, agricultural development, and significant reduction of hunger and poverty led to an award of $547 million from the US Millennium Challenge Corporation in 2006. The Kufuor government put the entire grant to use modernising agriculture for rural development, increasing the production and productivity of high-value cash and food staple crops, and raising farmer incomes.