IFA Science Awards
Every year, IFA invites individual scientists to apply for two awards that recognize excellence in plant nutrition science, innovation and extension for sustainable development.
The two award categories are:
- The IFA Norman Borlaug Plant Nutrition Award, which recognizes a large portfolio of research achievements, demonstrating that the individual candidate has made significant contributions to knowledge as well as concrete solutions.
- The IFA Emerging Scholar Award, which recognizes an individual’s portfolio of research that suggests the candidate will make significant contributions in the future.
The judges for each award will consider the nominations in the context of the “New Paradigm for Plant Nutrition” (read here) as developed by the Scientific Panel on Responsible Plant Nutrition.
The application deadline is usually mid-September. Read for further details and for information on past winners.
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 innovation 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.
IFA Science Awards Past Winners.
All winners of the IFA Norman Borlaug Award are eligible to sit on the panel of recipients.
The panel has been established to recommend ways to make the Award an ever more effective tool for promoting ongoing research to improve efficient and environmentally friendly plant nutrition.
Dr. Andrew Sharpley
Distinguished Professor of Soils and Water quality for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Director of the Soil and Environmental Resources Center of the Agronomic Institute of Campinas in Brazil
Distinguished soil scientist and former Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
Rice Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
Research and Development Center, West Visayas State University, Philippines
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, China
Kenneth G. Cassman
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska, USA
School of Rural Science and Natural Resources, University of New England, Australia