Friday, 1 February 2008

Gates gives $306 mln for African farming

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $306 million to boost the yields and incomes of small farmers in Africa and other parts of the developing world, it said on Friday 25th January. Support for agriculture the developing world has been neglected, but is vital for development of rural areas, where most of the world's poorest people live, the foundation said in a statement, released at annual World Economic Forum meeting.

"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.


Reuters and First Science

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