"If we are serious about ending extreme hunger and poverty around the world, we
must be serious about transforming agriculture for small farmers -- most of
whom are women," Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp said in the statement.
"These investments -- from improving the quality of seeds, to developing
healthier soil, to creating new markets -- will pay off not only in children fed
and lives save," Gates said.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is also receiving US$19.9 million over three years to initially help place improved rice varieties and related technology into the hands of 400,000 small farmers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.The Gates Foundation, founded in 2000, supports projects to improve health, reduce poverty and increase access to technology.