Brazil and Gates Foundation to improve agriculture in Africa, Asia
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday announced a partnership with the government of Brazil aimed at improving agricultural productivity among small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC) will lead to collaboration on a number of potential projects ranging from developing more productive and nutritious staple crops, improving soil and water management techniques as well as reducing crop loss after harvest, according to a statement received in Accra from the Foundation.
It said the agreement followed the recent announcement of the Foundation’s partnership with the Chinese Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to support innovative research and development (R&D) and manufacturing of new products for global health and agriculture.
The Gates Foundation also announced a $2.5 million grant to the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace, developed by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) to promote development in Africa through agricultural innovation.
“Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people get their food and income from farming small plots of land,” said Sam Dryden, Director of Agricultural Development for the Gates Foundation.
“Brazil’s advanced technical expertise in tropical agriculture, in addition to its success in designing innovative programs for smallholder farmers, puts them in a great position to work closely with developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve food security.”
“Our partnership with the Gates Foundation is a breakthrough. Through joint activities focused on capacity building, applied research and technology transfer our aim is to improve the productivity of small-scale farming and reduce hunger and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia,” said Mr Marco Farani, Director of ABC.
The statement said at this week’s G20 Summit in Cannes, France, Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, will deliver a report calling on G20 countries to continue to build on the unprecedented progress in health and development achieved in the last decade.
Bill Gates’ report will outline how innovations and partnerships in health and agriculture can help increase global stability and put the poorest countries and people on a long-term path to economic growth and equity.
The report calls Brazil and partnerships like this as examples of a dynamic and rapidly emerging country using its technical expertise and resources in partnership with other countries to make important contributions to global development.
The partnership between the Gates Foundation and the Brazilian government extends beyond agriculture to also include global health issues, the statement said.
Earlier this month, the Foundation and the Brazilian Ministry of Health agreed to work together towards improving global vaccine access and promoting health innovation among Brazilian scientists.
Brazil’s commitment to public health, its investment in health R&D and established vaccine manufacturing capacity provide a strong basis for this collaboration, which will address global health priorities shared by both partners.
Over the past several decades, rapidly emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India have seen growth rates rise and poverty rates fall sharply.
The statement said in the past 10 years, for example, Brazil lifted over 10 million people out of poverty through innovative social programs aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
Excellent idea and sooner the better. Long Overdue. Agriculture is the key and economic engine to every nation as well as Agrobusiness to add value