Gates Foundation refutes report it fails African farmers

Thursday, November 6, 2014

LONDON, Nov 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rejected accusations that too much of its funding goes to Western researchers, saying it is helping small farmers in African countries.

GRAIN, a non-profit group that supports small farmers, said in a report issued on Tuesday that the Gates Foundation pumps donations into agricultural research in Western countries and policy change in African states, but fails to help farmers in some of the world’s poorest countries.

“Gates is not engaging with groups on the ground in Africa where a lot of experimentation and improvement in agriculture is possible and could take off with some support,” Henk Hobbelink, co-founder of GRAIN, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

GRAIN analysed funding from the Gates Foundation since 2003 and found that of the more than $3 billion the charitable body gave in food and agriculture grants, just 5 percent of funds went to African groups besides the Nairobi-based Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation (link opens in a new window)

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