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Monty P. Jones

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Monty Jones

"A native of Sierra Leone, Jones is the revered plant breeder who developed NERICA, the New Rices for Africa, a set of high-productivity rices adapted to West Africa's growing conditions. Jones' efforts in creating NERICA are legendary. He and his team painstakingly crossed varieties of Asian and African rices to find stable and fertile breeds that would combine the yields of Asia's plants and the toughness of Africa's. NERICA is now being taken up by farmers across West Africa, boosting food security and incomes. Jones' work has also helped inspire other groups to support an African Green Revolution. The payoff will be a healthy, well-nourished continent on a path to economic development." [1]

"For his breakthrough achievements in creating a rice variety specifically bred for the ecological and agricultural conditions in Africa, Dr. Monty Jones won the World Food Prize in 2004 – the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization’s International Year of Rice.

"Born in Sierra Leone, Dr. Jones was educated there, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Sierra Leone, and at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, where he took a master’s degree in 1979, a doctorate in plant biology in 1983, and an honorary Doctor of Science in 2005. He began his career in 1975 with the West Africa Rice Development Agency, one of the international research centers sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, in its Mangrove Swamp Rice Research Project in his home country. He continued to work as a rice breeder and researcher through the 1980s.

"In 1991, Dr. Jones was appointed head of the Upland Rice Breeding Program at WARDA, then located in Côte d’Ivoire. It was in this position in 1994 that he made his exceptional breakthrough achievement in combining Asian and African rice varieties to develop NERICA, a “New Rice for Africa” uniquely suited to poor African rice farmers...

"In 2002, Dr. Jones was appointed the executive secretary of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, based in Ghana. At FARA, he oversees advocacy and coordination efforts in support of regional research, with the goal of increasing agricultural growth by at least 6 percent annually by 2020 as well as fostering ongoing economic growth, alleviating poverty, and improving food security for Africa’s people." [2]

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References

  1. Monty Jones, Time, accessed December 9, 2007.
  2. World Food Prize, accessed December 9, 2007.
  3. AGRA Board & Staff, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, accessed December 9, 2007.

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