The Gates Foundation is partnering with the UK Department for International Development to fight hunger and poverty in developing countries over the next 5 years. The partnership will support agricultural research projects, aiming to help boost the profit and yield of small farms within regions that receive funding.
A $40 million award will go to the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project at Cornell University, which is working to create varieties of wheat that are resistant to strains of stem rust disease. This disease has been running rampant throughout East Africa, threatening the world’s wheat supply. In addition, $3 million will be awarded to Diagnostics for All to develop inexpensive testing for small farmers to use to improve milk quality and quantity produced by their cows. It will also benefit the safety of cereal grains.
These projects are particularly impressive, because they aspire to solve long-term problems that threaten food security and production, rather than just increasing the amount of food available over the short term.