2022 Science Award Laureates


IFA Norman Borlaug Plant Nutrition Award Winner: Dr. Fang-jie Zhao

The 2022 IFA Norman Borlaug Plant Nutrition Award recipient is Dr. Fang-jie Zhao, Professor at Nanjing Agricultural University, China, for his over 30 years of extensive research on crop productivity and quality, soil health and human nutrition.

Dr. Zhao’s research has focused on improving crop productivity and quality - through establishing the effects of sulphur fertilizers on the yield and quality of crops – which has contributed to both sulphur fertilizer use recommendations and improved benefits from its use. He has made noteworthy contributions to improving human nutrition and health through biofortification of essential micronutrients and minimizing accumulation of toxic trace elements in food crops.

His more recent focus is on safeguarding food from soil contamination – which is the understanding of how crops take up arsenic and cadmium from the soil – and developing practical solutions to reduce their uptake.


2022 IFA Emerging Scholar Award Joint Winner: Dr. Xia Emma Lian

Dr. Xia Liang’s research interests are assessing the nitrogen footprint across agricultural production, supply and consumption and advancing its proper management. Her “5 Ps” principles - Production, People, Planet, Policy and Partnerships - shapes guidelines for sustainable nitrogen management and allow multidimensional evaluation of nitrogen management, highlight specific areas for improvement, support the design of policies and direct future research.

2022 IFA Emerging Scholar Award Joint Winner: Jean Martial Johnson

Jean-Martial Johnson’s work contributed to the development of i:nno.vation in soil properties and nutrients – including the digital map of Africa at 30 m spatial resolution; RiceAdvice - used by stakeholders addressing plant nutrition challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. His collection and analysis of rice plant and soil samples in major rice-growing environments - across 20 sub-Saharan Africa countries - resulted in the development of four large datasets consisting of soil fertility properties, macro- and micronutrients in straw and grain, yield gap, and nutrient omission trials.