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April 6th, 2010
Left to right: Kathy Sierra (World Bank), Carlos Perez del Castillo (CGIAR), Rudy Rabbinge (CGIAR) and Busani Bafana.

Left to right: Kathy Sierra (World Bank), Carlos Perez del Castillo (CGIAR), Rudy Rabbinge (CGIAR) and Busani Bafana.

Zimbabwean journalist Busani Bafana is the 2009 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Agricultural Science Journalism, described by CGIAR as”[a] professional who has put his way with words at the service of Africa’s agriculture”.

In a story entitled “A Better Banana for Africa,” which Bafana wrote for Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa, he reports on efforts in Kenya to improve banana yields and health, which are keys to “Africa’s potential banana boom.”

Bafana’s article offers a close-up view of the research, allowing readers to look over scientists’ shoulders, as it were, while they work with skill and commitment to provide farmers with more productive, disease-free plants.

The panelists were impressed by the nominee’s coverage of banana tissue culture to combat the crop’s diseases and improve its yields in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the background information and opinions sought to effectively highlight this issue to the public.

In a letter endorsing Bafana’s nomination, Terna Gyuse, regional editor for IPS Africa, lauded the reporter for his sustained effort to “portray the realities of the agricultural sector, with a particular emphasis on the voices and experiences of the small farmers who are the backbone of the continent’s food security.”

Bafana received the award at a conferment ceremony on March 29, 2010 at the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD 2010) in Montpellier, France.

The winning article can be accessed here “A Better Banana for Africa“.

Disease-free plantations are essential to the production of the five billion dollars of bananas sold annually. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Disease-free plantations are essential to the production of the five billion dollars of bananas sold annually. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

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