News last update:14 Jan 2016

Scientist recognised for work against aflatoxin

A research scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) – a member of the CGIAR Consortium – has won this year’s Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation for her work for aflatoxin management in Kenya.

Dr Charity Kawira Mutegi, 38, was named as the prize winner by the World Food Prize Foundation, which administers the award. The Kenyan scientist won the prize for her efforts in different facets of aflatoxin management in Kenya, spanning a decade. Aflatoxin is a natural toxin produced by a mould which causes death and disease in consumers and massive economic damage to farmers, especially in developing countries

The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr Norman E Borlaug, who won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat in Mexico and in introducing adaptable wheat varieties into India and Pakistan during the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, the World Food Prize has honoured outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food.

The Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application recognises an individual under the age of 40 who emulates the scientific innovation and dedication to food security demonstrated by Dr Borlaug. Since the launch of the award in 2012, both winners have been women from developing countries — and both have been from the CGIAR Consortium. The first recipient was Dr Aditi Mukherji, who was working as a senior researcher for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in India. IWMI is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Dr Mukherji has since moved to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)


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