FAO, Bill Gates eye possible cooperation on anti-hunger efforts

Bill Gates (left), co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, meeting with FAO Director General Jose Graziano Da Silva (right). ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

The Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Mr José Graziano da Silva and tech icon Bill Gates met recently and agreed that greater information on agriculture and market access for small farmers are two key areas in fighting hunger worldwide.

At the meeting held at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, the two personalities discussed ways to improve FAO’s data collection systems and to develop a public, multi-agency scorecard to better measure the progress of hunger reduction. They intend to cooperate on anti-hunger efforts.

Possible areas of cooperation, an FAO statement February 23, 2012 said “include improving agricultural statistics, the use of communication and information technologies to benefit agriculture as a whole, and small-scale farmers in particular, in addition to supporting the development of a scorecard system.”

They also talked about how to boost sustainable productivity and market opportunities for smallholder farmers, who make up the bulk of the world’s poor, the UN agency said.

During the meeting, Graziano da Silva presented Gates with a permanent building pass to FAO, in a symbolic gesture of the FAO’s commitment to working closer with the private sector and civil society, according to the statement.

By Ekow Quandzie

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