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A. H. Boerma Award

For journalists who have successfully steered public attention towards food security topics.

In recognition of the important role of the media in the fight against hunger, FAO has since 1979 presented the A.H. Boerma Award to journalists or groups of journalists, from around the world, who have brought food security and rural development issues in developing countries to the attention of civil society.

Journalists are key allies for FAO in raising awareness of the problem of hunger and malnutrition. They communicate complex agricultural and economic issues to the wider public and report on successful solutions and projects in the battle against hunger. But we must not forget their equally important role of providing millions of farmers with valuable information on how to produce more food in a sustainable way.

The A.H. Boerma Award commemorates the significant contribution of former FAO Director-General, Addeke Hendrik Boerma (1968 – 1975) to FAO, his able leadership and the important steps he took towards solving global food problems of unprecedented magnitude.

The Award consists of an inscribed medal, a scroll describing the winner’s achievements and a cash prize of USD 10,000.

Previous winners have included The Guardian – Development team, Financial Times journalist Javier Blas and CNN International's Jim Clancy, producer and host of Inside Africa.

Nominations for the award can be submitted by FAO Assistant Directors-General and Directors at FAO headquarters in Rome, FAO Regional and Subregional Representatives, FAO Country Representatives and Directors of FAO liaison offices. Each nomination should be accompanied by background information on the nominee, a selection of media material that successfully represents the nominee's work and was published or broadcast during the last four years.

The winners travel to Rome to receive their awards from the Director-General at a special ceremony held during the year of the FAO Conference.

The call is now open! Submit your nomination by 31 January 2017.

2017 Winners

The A.H. Boerma Award is jointly granted to Zeynab Wandati of the National Television Kenya and Keni Lesa of the Samoa Observer.

Zeynab Wandati of National Television Kenya has been awarded for her innovative weekly TV feature, Food Friday, which has directed public attention towards food security issues in Kenya and throughout the region. Her reporting spans a wide range of topics from good agricultural practices to climate challenges, reflecting a strong capacity to interact with a variety of actors including farmers, teachers and scientists. Her impartial coverage presents solutions to complex issues and has raised awareness of hunger and malnutrition among a broader general public, providing greater visibility of FAO’s work.

Keni Lesa of the Samoa Observer is recognised for his dedication to agriculture and food security issues, particularly regarding the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDs), in his role as editor of a leading Pacific daily newspaper. His strong ability to communicate complicated issues through an accessible writing style has successfully captured the attention of the general public and given great visibility to FAO’s work in the region.

2015 Winners

The National Geographic Society (NGS) has been selected for the ground-breaking series, The Future of Food, an in-depth exploration of the planet's diverse food systems and options for feeding a growing global population in a sustainable way. The series explored the topic from all angles: science, geopolitics, trade, health and nutrition, climate change, technology and poverty.  National Geographic’s riveting photography and video, combined with smart writing, captured public attention and brought new audiences to FAO’s subject matter.

2012 - 2013

2012 - 2013

  • Guardian Global Development editorial team, for their contribution to improving worldwide understanding of development issues, particularly with regard to agriculture, food security and poverty, and their emphasis on the progress made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

2010 - 2011

2010 - 2011

  • Javier Blas, Financial Times journalist, for his vital role in raising the international profile of food security and farm production issues among market observers, economists, policy makers and the general audience. This was achieved by his emphasis on the strong link between food price volatility and food security. 

2008 - 2009

2008 - 2009

This year the Award is being granted jointly to:

Ms Laetitia Clavreul, journalist for Frances's leading newspaper, Le Monde in acknowledgement of her substantial contribution to informing the public about issues related to food and agriculture production.

Mr Shykh Seraj, leading agricultural and environmental  affairs journalist and Bangladesh television presenter for his ground breaking covering of farming issues in both the print and broadcast media. 

2006 - 2007

2006 - 2007

  • Elisabeth Rosenthal, Health, science and environment correspondent for the International Herald Tribune/New York Times newspapers, for her reportage on the avian influenza crisis.
  • Hany El Banna,  Egyptian journalist and publisher specialized in agricultural development for his monthly publication, the Agricultural Magazine and effective communication  on food problems, agricultural and rural development in the Arabic speaking countries of the Near East.

2004 - 2005

2004 - 2005

  • Giampaolo Cadalanu, journalist and field reporter for Italy's La Repubblica, for his coverage of development issues, the right to food, and the role he played in raising awareness of FAO’s work in Italy.
  • Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, The Wall Street Journal, for their writing on agricultural trade and food issues in the North and the South.

2002 - 2003

2002 - 2003

  • Marcelo Canellas, documentary film maker and journalist, for bringing tough and often sensitive issues to primetime television, particularly his five documentaries on the causes and effects of hunger in Brazil, which were credited with influencing political thinking on the issue.
  • David Brough, British journalist, for highlighting how the UN agencies battle world hunger, bringing major development issues to the fore and increasing the public’s understanding of FAO’s work. 

2000 - 2001

2000 - 2001

  • Jim Clancy, Anchor and correspondent for CNN International, for increasing public awareness of the diverse problems facing the African continent through Inside Africa, the only international television news programme focused on the continent’s issues at the time.
  • Palagummi Sainath, Indian freelance journalist, writer and photographer, for highlighting the impact of misguided policies on food security and poverty and changing the nature of the development debate in the Indian media.

1998 - 1999

1998 - 1999

  • Patrick Luganda, Ugandan farmer, radio journalist and writer, for increasing public awareness of food security issues in Uganda and for providing technical information in The New Vision for farmers to restore production after a virus decimated the country's cassava crops.  
  • Alain Zolty, chief editor of Afrique Agriculture, for strengthening knowledge of food and agricultural issues through special issues on agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry, Africa and North-South cooperation and for mobilizing public support for FAO's work. 

1996 - 1997

1996 - 1997

  • Association of Food and Agriculture Journalists (AFAJ), in recognition of the 35 members' strong commitment to the coverage of food, agricultural and environmental issues, particularly its water hyacinth weed multimedia campaign, which raised global awareness of the threat to food security in Lake Victoria.
  • Inter Press Service (IPS), an independent association of journalists based in Rome, for their reportage on sustainable agriculture and rural development in more than 100 countries, focusing on issues such as rural living, migration, refugees and the plight of women and children.

1994 - 1995

1994 - 1995

  • Fawzia El-Moualled, Egyptian journalist, radio producer and writer, for her strong commitment and significant journalistic contribution over the past 40 years on development issues, particularly with regard to the rural population.
  • Michael Pickstock, British journalist, for his dedication to agricultural and environmental issues and for improving public understanding of agriculture in developing countries through the production of BBC's The Farming World and World Radio for Environment and Natural Resources.

1992 - 1993

1992 - 1993

  • Franceline Oubda, a journalist of the national television network of Burkina Faso, for the television series, Women and Development, which looked at economic, social and cultural development problems faced by rural women of Burkina Faso and recognized women's contribution to development.

1990 - 1991

1990 - 1991

  • Sanitsuda Ekachai, Bangkok Post correspondent, for her extensive writing on the impact of industrialization on agriculture in Thailand, her focus on the role of rural women and the plight of the region's rural populations in Thailand. 
  • Christophe Naigeon, French journalist, director and chief editor, for the creation of the first French agricultural news information network, the Système francophone d'information agricole, contributing to the flow of information between North and South and focusing public attention on food and development issues in developing countries.

1988 - 1989

1988 - 1989

  • Federico Fazzuoli, Italian television producer, for the television programme Linea Verde, involving in-depth coverage of environment, food and agriculture-related problems, which increased public awareness in Italy of FAO's continuing struggle against hunger and malnutrition in the world. 

1986 - 1987

1986 - 1987

  • Hiroyuki Ishi, Japanese correspondent for Asahi Shimbun, for more than 20 years of coverage of the problems related to food and agriculture, particularly a series of articles on the African food crisis that raised public awareness in Japan.
  • Victor Bracamonte, journalist and writer for El Comercio, for articles on the importance of growing local crops that helped to increase awareness of the need for small farmers to grow and market local goods, thus improving nutrition and increasing food production and rural income in Peru.

1984 - 1985

1984 - 1985

  • Claire Brisset, French journalist, for her extensive coverage on the malnourished and underprivileged in renowned French-language journals and her writing about the North-South dialogue and development issues in La Tribune de l'économie. 
  • Mohamed Amin, Kenyan journalist, cameraman and television producer, for his news coverage of the 1984 Ethiopian famine and his documentary film on the food crisis in Africa, African Calvary - Uncertain Redemption, the catalyst for the "Live Aid - We Are the World" campaign. 

1982 - 1983

1982 - 1983

  • The Farming World, a BBC World Service Programme, for their important role in raising world awareness of the issues central to FAO’s mandate, including agriculture, food production, malnutrition, poverty and agricultural development.

1980 - 1981

1980 - 1981

  • Lester R. Brown, an agricultural economist, for his many publications addressing food insecurity and natural resource problems in the world, his investigation of the moral issues of hunger and the disparity between rich and poor within and among nations.

1978 - 1979

1978 - 1979

  • Lasse and Lisa Berg, journalists and writers, for their work on development issues and hunger, particularly their extensive article, "World Hunger: there is food enough for all but the poor cannot afford it", which appeared in the Swedish Weekly Vi. 
  • Anil Agarwal, science and environmental journalist, for a cross-section of articles on agriculture and development, appearing in The New Scientist, The Economist and People.