CGIAR 2005 Science
Two researchers waging battle against animal and
plant diseases in Kenya and Mexico were among the winners of the
prestigious 2005 Science Awards.
"The CGIAR Science Awards celebrate quality science and
beneficial impacts, solving problems faced my millions of poor
farmers and herders," said Ian Johnson, CGIAR Chairman and
World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.
"Solutions to such problems are vital for creating wealth in
rural areas, and helping poor people escape poverty."
Ravi Singh of India won the
"Science Award for Outstanding
Scientist" for developing "slow rusting"
wheat varieties with improved resistance to an array of diseases
such as leaf rust, yellow rust, powdery mildew, and spot blotch,
among others. These improved wheat varieties, currently planted on
26 million hectares worldwide, have saved poor farmers an estimated
US$5 billion worth of production losses. The research is being
conducted at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT), a CGIAR Center in Mexico.
Simon Paul Graham , a British citizen, won the
"Science Award for Promising Young
Scientist" for seminal research leading to the
development of a novel, sensitive, and robust immunological assay
that screens target parasite molecules causing East Coast Fever
(ECF), a debilitating bovine disease that is the bane of
pastoralists in Sub-Saharan Africa. Graham's research may also
contribute to ongoing efforts to control tropical theileriosis
cattle disease, affecting 250 million cattle around the world. The
research was conducted at the Kenya-based International Livestock
Research Institute (ILRI), a CGIAR Center.
In addition to Singh and Graham, six awards recognizing
individuals and teams for scientific achievements were given,
Moatasim Sidahmed of Canada won the
"Regional Award for Outstanding Agricultural
Technology" for developing a cutter-and-feeder
mechanism that allows mechanical harvesting of lentils, a
drought-resistant crop rich in proteins that is grown widely in the
Central, West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. The equipment
allows lentil harvesting with wide ranging moisture content (14 to
29 percent). It harvests pods close to the ground, but avoids
stones, saving time and money otherwise spent on labor-intensive
hand harvesting. Sidahmed's innovative research was conducted
at the American University of Beirut.
Ian Johnson and Hamid Narjisse, Director INRA Morocco, present the
award to Moatasim Sidahmed.
- The "Science Award for Outstanding
Partnership" went to the "Alternatives
to Slash-and-Burn (ASB) Program" for developing more
environment-friendly farming techniques and slowing deforestation.
Coordinated by the Kenya-based World Agroforestry Centre, the ASB
program is a global partnership of over 80 institutions, conducting
research in 12 tropical forest biomes (or biologically diverse
areas) in the Amazon, Congo basin, northern Thailand, and the
islands of Mindanao in Philippines and Sumatra in Indonesia. Its
efforts are directed toward curbing deforestation while ensuring
that poor people benefit from nature's environmental services.
Thomas Tomich, Global Coordinator of ASB received the award on
behalf of the partnership.
Ilona Kononenko , a Ukrainian national,
received the "Science Award for an Outstanding
Scientific Support Team" on behalf of a team
supporting the Program for Sustainable Agricultural Production in
Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC) located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The CAC program is convened by the Syria-based International Center
for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and is
strengthening agricultural systems in Armena, Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and
Uzbekistan. Over 4000 scientists and farmers from these countries
have benefited from technical training provided by the
Shaobing Peng of Chinaand his co-authors won
the "Science Award for an Outstanding Scientific
Article" for the research article "Rice yields
decline with higher night temperature from global warming"
published in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of
Sciences in 2004. Dr. Shaobing Peng and co-authors Jianliang Huang,
John Sheehy, Rebecca Laza, Romeo Visperas, Xuhua Zhong, Grace
Centeno, Gurdev Khush, and Kenneth Cassman provide the first direct
evidence of decreased crop yields that result from increased night
time temperatures associated with global warming. The research
clearly shows for the first time that climate change will have a
negative impact on food production in some tropical areas. The
research was done at the Philippines-based International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI), a CGIAR Center.
Patricia Shanley , a US citizen, won the
"Science Award for Outstanding
Communications" for her work co-editing, in
conjunction with Gabriel Medina, the book or "Fruit Trees and
Useful Plants in the Lives of Amazonians" (or Fruitiferas e
Plantas Uteis na Vida Amazonica in Portuguese). The book is a joint
publication of Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research
Corporation), Imazon (the Amazon Institute of People and the
Environment) and the Indonesia-based Center for International
Forestry Research (CIFOR), a CGIAR Center. Over 1,000 literacy
trainers are using the book to reach around 14,000 adults; five
forestry training centers and four universities in Brazil are using
the book to improve curriculums.
left to right: Ian Johnson and Latifa Akharbach, Director of ISIC,
present award to Patricia Shanley of CIFOR.
All awardees received a scroll and a cash prize.