Gates Foundation backs agriculture forum
Abu Dhabi, January 8, 2014
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been confirmed as the Global Development Partner for the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA).
The event, to be held in Abu Dhabi from February 3 to 5, will showcase innovations in sustainable agriculture.
As the Global Development Partner, the Gates Foundation is advising GFIA on agricultural development projects around the world and is helping identify key NGOs, particularly those with a focus on Africa that can contribute to the forum’s programme.
The Gates Foundation will also provide expert counsel on how innovations can be applied practically to support developing regions of the world.
Mark Beaumont, GFIA project director, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The important work that the Gates Foundation is undertaking in Africa has a direct impact on alleviating poverty and building a sustainable future for people who depend on the land.
“One of the principal aims of GFIA is to ensure that the innovations presented are able to be practically applied in the developing world, and we look forward to working closely with the Gates Foundation on achieving this.”
The foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives and in developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
It has have committed more than $2 billion to agricultural development efforts, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with the goal of aiming to reduce hunger and poverty for millions of farming families in these regions by increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way.
Roy Steiner, director of Agricultural Development at the Gates Foundation, said: “One of our key focus areas is small-scale farming, especially in Africa. Nearly a billion people worldwide are affected by severe hunger and poverty. Many are farmers who rely on small plots of land of about one to two acres in size for their food and income. Our goal is to help these farming families produce more food and increase their income, while preserving the land for future generations.”
“By bringing together farmers, innovators, investors and development organisations, GFIA will hopefully provide the catalyst for a sustainable agriculture revolution” he said.
The forum will also feature an exhibition and conference, an incubator zone, an innovation zone curated by the University of Arizona, where working models of some of innovations in agriculture today will be featured; technical tours to a range of sustainable agriculture projects in the UAE; a GCC Farmer Focus, where a dedicated programme will educate farmers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture; and an NGO zone, where NGOs, development agencies and charitable foundations can meet and share ideas. - TradeArabia News Service