The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports work in education and global development to a degree that few other foundations can claim – and now it’s even taking on the problem of global agriculture production. In a speech on Thursday in Rome, Gates called on world leaders to join him in attempting to create a stable global food supply. Though specifics weren’t mentioned, he did say he thought a plan could be in place by the end of the year to get all nations on Earth to compete in a race to create an agricultural system robust enough to solve the global food supply crisis.
Gates’ plan focuses on the agricultural departments of the United Nations and their ability to implement strategies in agriculture that increase yield while keeping costs low. He, as not many others can do, criticized their past work saying their agencies — the Food and Agriculture Organization, The World Food Program and the International Fund for Agricultural Development — weren’t focused enough on the results of agriculture. He believes that by digging deep and discovering strategies that work in the real world to improve yield we can disseminate that information worldwide and improve global yields.
“The world’s agriculture and food system is now outdated and inefficient,” Gates said in his speech, according to the New York Times. “Countries, food agencies and donors aren’t working together in a focused and coordinated way to provide the help small farmers need, when they need it.” During his speech, Gates announced that the Gates Foundation will be bringing $200 million in new grants into their agricultural programs, which brings the Foundation’s total agricultural grants to $2 billion. With food prices up, investment in agriculture down, the global population increasing and the need for a more secure food system as important as ever, the dedication of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to this global problem is promising for a bright future where food security can become a thing of the past.
Lead image by the World Economic Forum on Flickr
Second image by Rae Allen on Flickr
Third image by FishHawk on Flickr