The blog of Bill Gates
gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

Better Farms – Improved Lives

Sign In
 
My Profile & Settings
Log out
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
- or - Sign up with email
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Send me updates from Bill Gates
Sign Up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Account Settings
VIEW & EDIT PROFILE
Your Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

Forgot your password?
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Change your header photo
your image
 
Change
your image
Uh Oh!

The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.

Ok
First name
Last name
Enter a first and last name. For example, "Richard Feynman"
Bio
0/160 characters
Edit Profile
Account Settings
Save
Cancel
Suggested Reads
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
 
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Welcome FirstName!
You are now a Gates Notes Insider
Update Your Profile Information
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Select Your Interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm
Are you sure you want to
deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Become a Gates Notes Insider for access to exclusive content and personalized reading suggestions
Sign up to receive occasional updates from the Gates Notes
Sign Up
Privacy Policy
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
The blog of Bill Gates
Better Farms – Improved Lives
 
Hello, . . My Profile & Settings
Log out
FOLLOW ME
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
More and Better Crops

Better Farms – Improved Lives

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people rely on farming small plots of land to feed themselves and their families. Helping these small farmers grow more crops and get them to market can have a tremendous impact on reducing hunger and poverty and associated problems.

But it’s a complicated challenge that requires support and investments across the agricultural value chain—from cultivating better seeds and soil conditions to improving farm management, access to markets, and government policies.

In 2008, we announced $306 million in grants to six organizations to help poor farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia boost their productivity, increase their incomes, and improve their lives. When we announced the grants, I promised to post annual updates about the projects as a way to share the progress, setbacks, and lessons of our work in agricultural development.

Looking at the 2010 updates that have just been posted to the foundation website, I’m amazed at the life-changing results that our grantees have achieved in such a short time. In the last year, these organizations have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmers and they are on track to help more than 5 million farming families in the years ahead.

Highlights From the 2010 Updates

In many parts of India and Africa, small farmers rely solely on rainwater to grow their crops and can produce barely enough food for their own subsistence. International Development Enterprises (IDE) last year worked with 731 agricultural equipment dealers to make affordable small-scale irrigation systems available to more than 100,000 farmers. IDE also helped about 12,000 farmers secure microfinancing to pay for the new systems. As a result, these small-farm families have been able to produce and sell surplus crops and increase their incomes by an average of $600 per year—enough to pay for school, healthcare, and invest in their farms.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is making steady progress toward its goals of providing 400,000 farmers with heartier varieties of rice that can withstand drought, flood, extreme cold, and harsh soil conditions. IRRI has trained more than 750 scientists in rice breeding and crop management, developed more than 200 new varieties of stress-tolerant seeds, and distributed over 6,500 tons of seed to farmers in the last year. And through a process called “participatory variety selection,” IRRI gets farmers directly involved in developing rice varieties that will grow best under local conditions.

In 2009, TechnoServe used its foundation grant to help provide 67,000 small-holder coffee growers in East Africa with access to equipment that enables them to process their beans into high-quality coffee. TechnoServe also helped train thousands of farmers in sustainable agronomy practices, and how to evaluate the quality of their coffee beans.

Working in Bangladesh, CARE organized more than 15,400 dairy farmers into groups that can collectively buy better feed and receive training in animal husbandry to produce larger amounts of higher-quality milk from their cows. Largely because of a sudden drop in demand for fresh milk in Bangladesh, CARE managed to link only about 5,400 farmers—a quarter of its target—to refrigeration facilities where they could store surplus milk for sale. But the organization met its goal of deploying 120 community veterinary workers, and more than 4,400 local dairy farmers used artificial insemination services provided by CARE.

In East Africa, more than 47,000 dairy farmers received help from Heifer International to form business associations and establish chilling plants that will help get the farmers’ milk to market. Although Heifer was able only to secure financing for five new chilling plants instead of 23 as planned, the new and existing plants helped farmers sell more than 118,000 liters of milk per day, more than we had expected. Heifer also helped local breeding services perform more than 56,000 artificial inseminations and is investigating new approaches to substantially increase that number in the next two years.

In Kenya and other sub-Saharan countries, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is bringing affordable fertilizers and training in integrated soil fertility management techniques to farmers. Although the start of these projects was delayed in 2008 because of political unrest in Kenya and rising fuel costs, AGRA has begun to make progress in helping farmers adopt more environmentally sustainable farming practices.

The annual progress reports on these organizations enable us to see what’s been working well in each program, and to adjust our strategies to address unexpected challenges and to adapt to the evolving needs of local communities and individual farmers. I’m encouraged by the strides that our nonprofit partners and the farmers are making through these programs despite challenging conditions. At the same time, I see how much more needs to be done.

Since 2006, the foundation has committed more than $1.5 billion in grants to support agricultural development efforts. The G8 and G20 nations have committed $22 billion to food security over three years and African countries and leaders are also making big increases in their domestic investment in agriculture.

This renewed attention to agricultural development is important. We know that better farming is the most important solution for overcoming hunger and poverty, and that the investments the foundation and others are making can have an incredible impact in a relatively short period of time.

Become a Gates Notes Insider for access to exclusive content and personalized reading suggestions

Read previous versions of the Annual Letter


Discussion
comments powered by Disqus