Professor Eric Danquah of the University of Ghana, a plant geneticist and inspirational leader has received the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2018 at the award ceremony on 28 October 2018 at Nanjing Agricultural University Peoples Republic of China.
The GCHERA World Agriculture Prize aims to encourage the global development of the mission of higher education institutions in education, research and innovation in the agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission.
The prize money is a whopping 100,000 USD (GHS 482,555)…
Yesterday, Professor Eric Danquah of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the College of Basic and Applied Sciences of the University of Ghana received the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2018 at a ceremony held at Nanjing Agricultural University, Peoples Republic of China.
With this award GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences) recognizes Professor Danquah’s exceptional and significant lifetime achievements in the field of agricultural and life sciences.
John Kennelly, President of GCHERA, in presenting the award said: “Eric Danquah established the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), led a maize breeding program which has released three high yielding maize varieties in Ghana, created the Seed Science and Technology International MPhil degree program, and significantly contributed to the establishment of the Biotechnology Centre at the University of Ghana.
The establishment of WACCI by Prof Danquah provided an environment where young people were inspired to pursue careers in plant breeding. Over 100 students from 19 African countries have had the life-transforming opportunity to receive a world-class education in plant breeding. His encouragement and support of women to study in this area has been especially noteworthy as today over one-third of the students enrolled in the program are women.
Many of the graduates have gone on to develop improved varieties of commercial and indigenous crops in their home countries. These highly trained professionals will continue to produce improved varieties of the staple crops of Africa for decades, thus extending the legacy of WACCI in improving the lives of small farmers as well as contributing to global food and nutritional security.
“With thanks to the Almighty, I say I was honoured and humbled this morning in Nanjing, China, I dedicated the award to Dr. Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University, the WACCI team and Dr. John Barrett, my Masters and PhD supervisor at Cambridge University. My prize category included countries from all of South America, Asia (excluding Japan only), and Africa. I am, therefore, overwhelmed. This must be the God factor. Certainly, it was Him in this. Thank you Lord,” he said on Facebook.
For his part, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana said “Eric Yirenkyi Danquah is highly industrious, an internationally-minded person who exhibits a high sense of responsibility with outstanding leadership skills. In view of his capacity to transfer theoretical knowledge to practical application, he has been a key originator, contributor and innovator of many of the agricultural concepts and ideas that have led to the development of many seed varieties and training of plant breeders from all over Africa. He has contributed immensely to the agricultural revolution of Africa, and instrumental in the alleviation of poverty in Ghana and beyond.”
With thanks to the Almighty, I say I was honoured and humbled this morning in Nanjing, China as I received the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2018 alongside Professor Rattan Lal of Ohio State University, a world renowned soil scientist. In my acceptance speech, I dedicated the award to Dr. Ronnie Coffman of Cornell University, the WACCI team and Dr. John Barrett, my Masters and PhD supervisor at Cambridge University. My prize category included countries from all of South America, Asia (excluding Japan only), and Africa. I am, therefore, overwhelmed. This must be the God factor. Certainly, it was Him in this. Thank you Lord.
See below for some photos…