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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Seedstock Digest – Sustainable Agriculture and Tech News

March 1, 2011 |

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will provide nearly $105 million in funding over the next 5 years for sustainable agriculture programs that benefit developing countries.  Cornell University will receive $40 million from the partners to develop wheat varieties that are resistant to emerging strains of stem rust disease.  For more on the partnership read the article “Gates Foundation Supports Sustainable Agriculture.”

ARPA-E or Advanced Projects Research Association-Energy is hosting the Energy Innovation Summit this Monday and Tuesday in Washington D.C.   One of the startup companies that will be showcasing its product is Proterro.  Proterro, Inc. is a venture-backed startup developing fermentation-ready sugar feedstock that will enable the economical and scalable production of biofuels at a significantly lower cost than sugarcane, corn or other energy crops.  Click for more information on the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Conference.

The 26th Annual New York Farm Show took place this past weekend showcasing agriculture innovation.  One company, Strawberry Fields U-Pick Hydroponic Farm, led by Doug and Linda Eldred has developed a unique growing method for strawberries that “requires no soil at all allow and allows 15,000 plants to be grown on a quarter of an acre.”  For more information check out the article Farm show highlights agricultural innovations.

Pepsi plans to work with the Inter-American Development Bank in Latin America to support the sustainable farming of sunflowers.  Farmers will receive training and employment and Pepsi will use the oil produced from the sunflowers to produce healthier products.   See the NYTimes article: For Pepsi, A Business Decision With Social Benefit for the whole story.

Non-profit firm Diagnostics for All today has received a two-year, $3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development to develop inexpensive agriculture diagnostic tests for livestock health in sub-Saharan Africa. Read the full article: “DFA Awarded $3M for Agriculture.”