Rome, 12-23 November 1999
PRESENTATION OF A.H. BOERMA AWARD 1998-99
1. The Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference in November 1975 adopted Resolution 1/75 as a "vote of thanks" to former Director-General Addeke H. Boerma, and decided to institute a new permanent activity in FAO as a continuing tribute to Dr. Boerma for his services to the Organization, in various capacities, for nearly three decades. The Conference requested the Council to choose and initiate such an activity.
2. At its Seventy-first Session in June 1977, the Council welcomed the proposal of the Director-General that an A.H. Boerma Award be presented biennially to a journalist, or other persons, whose writing on development questions had helped to focus public attention at the international or regional levels on important aspects of the world food problem, particularly related to agricultural and rural development in developing countries, with the likely result of having increased public support of measures leading to its solution. The Council recommended that a prize of US$ 10 000 be awarded to one person, or shared between several winners. It further recommended that the Award need not necessarily be confined to the written word, but within constraints of a practical nature, could be extended to productions in all the information media, including particularly television and radio.
3. The Nineteenth Session of the Conference in 1977 adopted the following paragraph in its Report:
"The Conference noted the decision of the Council at its Seventy-first Session that the A.H. Boerma Award should consist of one biennial $10 000 prize for one or more writers whose work was likely to have increased international public awareness of the world food problem and of measures leading to its solution. The recipient or recipients would be selected by the Director-General, bearing in mind the relevant recommendations made by the Council, and the presentation would take place during the Conference sessions".
4. The Award consists of:
(i) A scroll describing the recipient's achievements
(ii) A cash prize of US$ 10 000
(iii) An all-expenses-paid visit to Rome to receive the Award for the Award winner and spouse
Selection of Award winners
5. The Award winner (or winners) is selected by the Director-General in consultation with the Independent Chairman of the Council and the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees, after earlier review of all nominations carried out by the Information Division, and of selected entries by the A.H. Boerma Award Review Committee.
6. Regional Representatives are encouraged to make use of their Regional Information Officers in the search for and evaluation of potential nominees. FAO Representatives in member countries are asked to keep watch for potential entries of sufficient merit and, where appropriate, may obtain suggestions from the United Nations Information Centres in their respective countries of assignment. The Assistant Director-General, Department of General Affairs and Information, acting through the Chairman of the Joint United Nations Information Committee (JUNIC) may, as appropriate, seek suggestions from other organizations of the United Nations system..
7. The materials upon which nominations are based must have been published or publicly presented during the four-year period ending on 31 March of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.
8. The deadline for submission of nominations to FAO Headquarters is 30 April of the Conference year in which the Award is presented.
9. The Award is presented by the Director-General at a special ceremony held during the first week of each regular session of the Conference. The Award for the 1998-1999 biennium will be presented at the Thirtieth Session of the FAO Conference, at a ceremony to be held on Friday, 12 November 1999.
10. This year the Award is being granted jointly to Mr. Patrick Luganda, Senior Features Writer of "The New Vision" newspaper (Uganda) for his contribution in increasing public awareness of the importance of food security in his country, and to Mr. Alain Zolty as Chief Editor of "Afrique Agriculture", a specialized monthly magazine that has greatly facilitated the comprehension of food and agricultural issues in the world, with particular emphasis on the African region.
11. Mr. Patrick Luganda, Senior Features Writer of "The New Vision" (Uganda), has, through his articles and radio programmes, signalled the links between research and improved farming methods, significantly raising the level of agricultural knowledge and skills among farmers and reinforcing confidence in the food production sphere. His many reports on the cassava mosaic viral attack that hit the nation devastating large tracts of plantations and causing thousands of people to be faced with starvation, resulted in a rapid technology transfer that restored the food production of cassava. This major crop necessary for food security stabilization is now being multiplied in most parts of the country and regular media reports are helping to accelerate the process. Mr. Luganda's concrete and descriptive way of featuring policy and decision-makers, research and beneficiaries on an equal basis, makes him a journalist of outstanding calibre. His weekly programmes on Radio Uganda intended for rural communities, have encouraged this sector to apprehend and implement improved agronomy methods. Considering the well-established reputation of one of the most far-reaching newspapers in Africa, now also published on line, and the importance of Radio Uganda in East-Africa, one can easily conclude that Mr. Patrick Luganda's articles and radio features influence a wide spectrum of readers and listeners on different aspects of improving food security.
12. "Afrique Agriculture" has been headed by Alain Zolty since 1992. This monthly magazine which regularly publishes special issues on agriculture, livestock, fishery and forestry in Africa and a wide variety of other features on the North-South cooperation, has a large international audience. It is one of the most influential publications for bridging the technical, scientific and economic information gap between industrialized and developing African countries. This publication is distributed now in more than 30 countries including the USA and Canada, as well as most of the European and African countries and on the internet. It reaches decision-makers in international and bilateral organizations, NGOs and the private sector, farmers and breeders associations, research and development institutes, agro-industries, schools, universities, etc. "Afrique Agriculture" also offers valuable information to millions of men and women living off agriculture and livestock activities. It keeps its readers abreast of the rapid changes in international agriculture, with special emphasis on Africa. Therefore, by assuring a constant flow of information on food security-related problems, "Afrique Agriculture" undoubtedly contributes to broadening the debate on this vital subject.
13. In a wider sense, the dedicated work of both of the A.H. Boerma winners has contributed greatly to enhancing public awareness and understanding of important aspects of the world food problem.