Greta Gabinete and Rikin Gandhi receive the IFA Norman Borlaug Award


Paris, France - 20 April 2012

The 2012 IFA Norman Borlaug Award will recognize two laureates for their outstanding work in providing extension services to farmers, Dr Greta Gabinete of the Philippines, the second woman in the history of the award and Mr Rikin Gandhi of India.
Dr Greta Gabinete is Director of the Research and Development Center at West Visayas State University in the Philippines. She has been instrumental in the development and transfer of site-specific nutrient management (SSNM)-based technology for rice in the province of Iloilo in the Western Visayas region.
From 2006, she has used a systematic approach involving the validation of SSNM-based technology for rice, the establishment of guidelines derived from SSNM principles, the development of locally adapted decision tools and aids for dissemination and for the establishment of partnerships. Some of the advanced technologies and innovative tools that Gabinete has been involved in to facilitate the transfer of technology are: a quick guide to rice fertilization; web applications of decision support software in English and 6 local dialects; and videos for improved nutrient management.
By the end of 2009, about 4000 farmers in the Iloilo Province had been reached through training programs, lectures and demonstration plots. In 2010/11, an additional 2000 farmers were oriented and trained on the SSNM technology. Through this approach, yields increased in most cases, raising farmers’ net incomes by the target level of US$ 100 per hectare per season.
Mr Rikin Gandhi is the Chief Executive Officer of Digital Green, a non-governmental organization whose interests include sustainable agriculture and technology for socio-economic development in India and Ethiopia. It supports established extension systems and other partners to improve livelihoods of small, marginal farmers through the targeted production and dissemination of locally relevant agricultural information via participatory video and mediated instruction.

Digital Green’s model is especially compelling and effective because its videos are of farmers and for farmers, produced and disseminated by innovatively blending technology with social marketing. All the videos are made and screened locally by village-level mediators and feature local farmers who train other farmers in the community on sustainable practices that enhance productivity and mitigate the effects of climate change. To ensure that this focus on the needs of individual farmers is institutionalized and sustained in the long term, under Gandhi’s guidance, Digital Green has iteratively developed a comprehensive framework of standard operating procedures.

Digital Green has been shown to be at least ten times as effective, per dollar spent, in increasing the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices by farmers than traditional approaches to agricultural extension. Thus far, the Digital Green network has connected over 1100 villages in India and Ethiopia and produced over 2100 videos. It reaches more than 90,000 farmers each week.

Greta Gabinete and Rikin Gandhi were nominated by Atlas Fertilizer Corporation and the International Plant Nutrition Institute, respectively, and they were selected by an independent jury. Both laureates will accept their award at the Opening Session of the IFA Annual Conference on Tuesday, 22 May in Doha, Qatar.

The International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) is a trade association representing the global fertilizer industry. IFA member companies represent all activities related to the production and distribution of every type of fertilizer, their raw materials and intermediates. IFA’s membership also includes organizations involved in agronomic research and training. IFA has some 540 members in about 85 countries. The global fertilizer industry produces some 170 million tons of fertilizer nutrients annually. These are used in every corner of the globe to support sustainable agricultural production and food security.

Media Contacts

David Roquetti, Executive Director, Brazilian Association for the Promotion of Fertilizers
Telephone: +55 11 3218 2807 - Email:

Catherine King, Manager, Communications, Canadian Fertilizer Institute
Telephone: +1 613 786 3026 - Email:

Mark Cryans, Head of Communications, Fertilizers Europe
Telephone: +32 474 885 886 - Email:

Kathy Mathers, Vice President of Public Affairs, The Fertilizer Institute
Telephone: +1 202 515 2703 - Email:

Morgane Danielou, Director of Communications, International Fertilizer Industry Association
Telephone: +33 (0)1 53 93 05 33 - Email: