Amb. Prof. Monty P. Jones
Prof. Monty Jones is the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security for Sierra Leone and co-winner of the prestigious 2004 World Food Prize. He was also a Special Adviser to the President and Ambassador at Large for Sierra Leone.
He is a Sierra Leonean and started his career at the Rice Research station in Rokupr, Sierra Leone, where he worked as a breeder for 13 years. His international career started with the CGIAR as coordinator of the IITA/USAID Cameroon rice program from 1987 to 1990.
In 1991, Prof. Monty Jones moved to WARDA now known as AfricaRice to become its principal breeder where he developed the NERICA rice in close collaboration with his fellow scientists at Africa Rice and with other scientists from Asia, Europe and the US. He then disseminated NERICAs through participatory approaches by working at multiple levels of associates from scientists to extension workers and farmers organizations to governments and NGOs.
Through his work, Africa Rice was awarded the prestigious CGIAR’s King Badouin Award in 2000. In September 2001, he received the National Order of Merit of Côte d’Ivoire given by the Ivorian President. He also received in 2004, the Insignia of the Grand Officer of the order of the Rokel from the Sierra Leone President on his work on NERICA. In 2011 he received the Golden Jubilee Award from the current President of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
Prof. Jones was awarded the Niigata International Food award in 2010. He is elected Chairman of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (2010-2013). He received honorary doctorate degrees (Honoris causa) from Universities in the UK, Belgium, Sierra Leone and South Africa and was named one of the hundred most influential persons in the World by the Time magazine in 2007.