23 May 2009

Bill Gates, FAO chief ponder anti-hunger fight

Bill Gates co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf met in Rome to discuss the role of agricultural development in reducing world hunger and poverty. They also addressed the longer-term challenges to agriculture, including the impact of the global economic crisis on poor countries.

FAO currently has a direct grant from the foundation of $US 5.6 million over two years, to improve the quality and accessibility of national and sub-national statistics on food and agriculture development in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The agency also collaborates as part of the implementation of a 5-year grant for $164.5 million to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led organization, for its work with small farmers, and a 3-year grant for $26.8 million to Cornell University, for development of resistance to wheat rust.

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