Friday, October 16, 2009

Bill Gates shifts focus to fighting hunger

...“Helping the poorest smallholder farmers grow more crops and get them to market is the world’s single most powerful lever for reducing hunger,” Mr Gates said as he announced $120m in grants for agriculture research and development.

........Roy Steiner, who oversees the foundation’s agricultural projects, told the Financial Times the current political climate was a “defining moment for global food security”
In a consultation paper on the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative released last month, the US state department gave warning that “the 2008 food price crisis illustrates the kinds of disruptions we could experience more often in the future”. The crisis saw the price of commodities such as wheat and rice rise to record highs, with food riots in countries from Haiti to Senegal.

...............Mr Gates said efforts to help small farmers were endangered by an ideological wedge between those supporters of a “technological approach that increases productivity”, such as the use of genetic modified organisms, and an environmental approach that promotes sustainability. “It’s a false choice,” he said. “The fact is we need both productivity and sustainability.”


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