Meet the Zayed Sustainability Prize Food Heroes in pictures
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11 November 2022 Share article

Marking World food Day 2022: Leave No One Behind

Zayed Sustainability Prize winners and finalists have been providing sustainable access to food for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Today, we look at three major initiatives in pictures, to witness their work on the ground and the lives they’ve change, especially within vulnerable communities. 

World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16 and this year’s theme is: ‘Leave no one behind: Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’. In line with this, the featured initiatives are benefitting communities who face food insecurity due to economic, social, and geographic circumstances.

Food Hero I: Sanku

Non-profit organisation Sanku is a 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize winner who reaches out to African communities where malnutrition is prevalent and equips small-scale local millers with an innovative technology that fortifies their flour.

With 150 flour-fortification machines installed in flourmills across five East African countries, Sanku impacts almost two million people, providing them with safer, healthy food. Plans to broaden its reach and scope are also in place, as the organisation works towards the ambitious vision of eradicating malnutrition in Africa.

Mill operator Mama Anna cleans and sorts flour before milling. The photo was taken at Chapa SS flourmills, Bunju, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

Mill Operator Zahraa Kassim Selemani (left) and Salma Mkopi sift and clean maize at a flourmill in Manzese, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

Local vendor Mama Khalima sells ugali, local maize porridge produced with the help of Sanku’s improved technology. The picture was taken at a food kiosk in Bagamoyo, Pwani, Tanzania. Such kiosks are widespread across East Africa as they offer affordable, popular meals.

Mother of two, Zaituni, with her youngest daughter Salma, and Sanku employee Mussa Mondosha, after purchasing fortified flour from a mill in Manzese.

Dr. Nandonde, owner of GMF Mills, a university lecturer with a passion for flour processing, shows his customised pink flour bags from Sanku, in Morogoro, Tanzania, 2022.

“One wholesaler came to my mill to ensure I fortify flour before I sell it to him. I was thankful that Sanku had already supplied me with a dosifier, or else I would have lost that customer,” he said.
The Sanku Dosifier enables any miller to “dose” flour with the precise ratio of nutrients to help ensure a healthy diet. It made the 2019 Time magazine best inventions list. 

Dr. Nandonde also supplies hotels and schools with his nutritious flour.

Food Hero II: Okuafo Foundation

Okuafo is a 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize winner and a Ghana-based SME that developed a smartphone application to detect crop diseases and infestations. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the app then offers scientifically-based solutions to prevent harvest losses. 

The Okuafu AI app is used by rural farmers in Ghana and does not require an internet connection to work. It has helped farmers increase crop productivity by 50%, cut down on pesticides, and reduce their daily costs. 

Okuafo’s application has been used by more than a thousand farmers, which in turn gave 18,000 people access to safe, nutritious food. Some 2,184 farmers from 38 communities have been trained on effective pest control methods and how to use the app.

Okuafo Foundation staff member Daud Yakub demonstrates the Okuafo AI app to a farmer during a community outreach event. The photo was taken in Ghana’s Ashanti region. 

Okuafo Co-founder and Applied AI Researcher Mustapha Diyaol Haqq points out pest damage via his laptop to local farmer Alhassan Adam. The photo was captured in Northern Ghana. 

Showing the app during an Okuafo community visit last year in the Ashanti Region, Ghana.

Mr. Haqq and two Okuafo staff members, Mumin Siba and Swabir Musah, conduct multispectral mapping of a farm in Ghana’s Eastern Region.

Food Hero III: S4S Technologies

S4S Technologies is a 2022 Zayed Sustainability Prize winner and an India-based SME that founded a technology to reduce food waste and improve farmers’ income. Using S4S Technologies’ proprietary and innovative solar dryers, harvest waste at local farms is dehydrated and turned into non-perishable food that is later sold to other retailers and businesses. 

S4S (or Science for Society) focuses on empowering rural women by training them to run the drying process. To date, one million people have gained access to nutrition-rich food thanks to S4S Technologies.

Women micro-entrepreneurs dehydrating onion during an S4S training session in Aurangabad, Mahrashtra.

S4S production Manager Gandhali Deshmukh with S4S Women micro-entrepreneurs during production in Aurangabad, Mahrashtra.

The S4S co-founders during a field visit with female farmers. From left to right: Shital Somani, Nidhi Pant, Swapnil Kokate and Ganesh Bhere. The photo was captured in Manchar, Maharashtra.

Workers check product quality at the S4S Fulfillment Centre Aurangabad, Maharashtra.