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Investing in Women Agricultural Scientists and Researchers

Collaboration with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)


Collaboration with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

“I am grateful that DuPont Pioneer shares our vision of investing in the next generation of African

-Vicki Wilde, director, AWARD

In October 2012, DuPont announced its collaboration with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) with a commitment of approximately US $400,000 over the next four years to help strengthen the research skills of female African agricultural scientists.

DuPont Pioneer will annually host at least two AWARD Fellows in its global laboratories for up to nine months over a four-year period. These research attachments will complement the extensive training and leadership development offered by AWARD.

The majority of those who produce, process and market Africa's food are women, but only one in four agricultural researchers is female, according to a 2008 study conducted by AWARD. In addition, fewer than one in seven of the leaders of agricultural institutions are female. AWARD is addressing this gap.


AWARD Leadership Program

AWARD is a two-year leadership program that supports women scientists working to improve food security and reduce poverty in Africa. To date, 250 African women scientists from 11 countries have benefited directly as AWARD Fellows. They range from recent university graduates to recognized experts in their fields. Their research covers 16 disciplines in agricultural research and development, from plant pathology to water management and from poultry science to climate change.

Pioneer will provide advanced science training to two leading African women scientists, Grace Nakabonge and Felister Nzuve, who were selected from a competitive pool of post-graduate AWARD Fellows.

 Did You Know:

  • The majority of those who produce, process, and market Africa's food are women, but only one in four agricultural researchers is female.
  • If women were given equal opportunities to men, it is estimated that yields on their farms would increase by 2.5 percent to 4 percent. This additional yield could generate enough additional production to reduce the number of undernourished people in the world by 100-150 million. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, that would reduce the numbers of malnourished children by 1.7 million. (FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture, 2010-2011).
  • The pool of qualified women researchers is growing, but women still represent less than one quarter of Africa's scientists holding positions in institutions of agricultural research, and less than one in seven (14 percent) leadership positions is held by a woman.