Advancing Food Security in Africa

DuPont News, November 14, 2012
Martha Kanegoni of Zimbabwe, recipient of the DuPont Pioneer National Farming Award.
Martha Kanegoni of Zimbabwe, recipient of the DuPont Pioneer National Farming Award.


In conjunction with last month’s International Rural Women’s Day, DuPont Pioneer honored Martha Kanegoni, a rural farmer in Zimbabwe, for achieving success after converting to Pioneer® brand maize hybrids 10 years ago.

In 2003, Martha and her husband made the choice to use high-yielding Pioneer® maize. By doing so, they were able to increase their yield from 1.2 tons per hectare to 7.5 tons per hectare – a 625% increase from growing our hybrids and applying improved agronomic practices. This is in contrast to the average maize yield in Sub-Saharan Africa which is less than 2 tons per hectare. With their increased income, they were able to buy more cattle, build a solid brick house, and pay for their children’s school fees and medical care.

“Smallholder farmers, and particularly women farmers, are crucial to attaining food security,” said Pamela Chitenhe, director for DuPont Pioneer Africa. “Women and girls are traditionally the most vulnerable to the impacts of food insecurity because they have less access and control over resources than men. Achieving food security is a significant and growing challenge in developing regions and highly critical to alleviating poverty.”

Due to her tremendous achievement, Martha received the DuPont Pioneer National Farming Award for demonstrating that hunger can be alleviated, for embodying the spirit of International Rural Women’s Day, and for contributing to help end hunger and poverty in her community. Martha and her husband also attended the Global Farmer Roundtable dialogue held in conjunction with the 2012 World Food Prize Symposium in Iowa, USA.