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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Gates Foundation Partnership with Brazil Opens Doors to Sustainable Agriculture Projects

November 1, 2011 |

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is teaming up with the government of Brazil in an effort to help small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia boost their agricultural productivity, the foundation announced.

The Gates Foundation’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation is expected to result in collaboration between the two entities on various potential projects. The foundation describes those projects as ranging from “developing more productive and nutritious staple crops, improving soil and water management techniques, as well as reducing crop loss after harvest.”

The foundation also announced  that it is giving a $2.5 million grant to the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace, which was developed by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation.

“Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people get their food and income from farming small plots of land,” Sam Dryden, the foundation’s  director of agricultural development, said in a written statement. “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.”

Minister Marco Farani, director of the Brazilian Agency of Cooperation, called the partnership 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 and Southern Asia,” Farani said in a written statement.

Bill Gates, the foundation’s co-chair, is expected to deliver a report at this week’s G20 Summit in Cannes, France, that will outline how health- and agriculture-focused innovations and partnerships can help increase global stability, the foundation said. The report is expected to use Brazil and other partnerships as examples.

The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation describes its mission in developing countries as improving people’s health and giving them a chance to address issues of hunger and extreme poverty. The foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates, Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.

The Gates Foundation also partnered earlier this month with the Brazilian Ministry of Health to work together to improve global vaccine access and promote health innovation among Brazilian scientists.

The foundation also recently announced a partnership with the China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The purpose of the partnerships is to support innovative research and development and manufacturing of new products for global health and agriculture.

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