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PASSING OF THE FOUNDING FATHER OF NEW RICE FOR AFRICA (NERICA), DR MONTY PATRICK JONES


The Director General of the Africa Rice Center, Dr Baboucarr Manneh, together with the Board of Trustees and staff of the Center, regret to share the sad news of the death of Dr Monty Jones in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Sunday April 28, 2024. He was aged 73 years.

Dr Jones, an internationally renowned rice breeder, led a team of scientists at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) formerly WARDA (West Africa Rice Development Association) in the development of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) varieties which became a household name across the continent and are now cultivated in over 2 million hectares and hence significantly contributing to food security in Africa.

For his outstanding work in developing the NERICAs, Dr Jones became the first African to win the prestigious World Food Prize in 2004. A few years later, in 2007, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.

Dr Monty Jones was the founding Executive Director of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) where he served from 2002 to 2013. At the end of his mandate at FARA, and upon return to his home country, Sierra Leone in 2013, Dr Jones was appointed Special Advisor to the President, and Ambassador Plenipotentiary. He was subsequently appointed Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security from 2016 to 2018.

The passing away of Dr Monty Patrick Jones leaves a huge void in the international scientific community and he will be sorely missed.

 

 

 

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