Gates Foundation Names Focus Countries, Areas in New Agriculture Policy

Hands gathering grains. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will focus its agriculture-related investments on fewer countries and a tighter set of priority areas as part of its new agriculture policy. Photo by: Andy Kristian Agaba / Gates Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will focus its agriculture-related investments on fewer countries and a tighter set of priority areas as part of its new agriculture policy, a senior official of the foundation has announced.

The shift is in line with the foundation’s desire to scale up funding in countries where investments would have the most impact and produce “spill-over benefits to other countries,” said Prabhu Pingali, deputy head of the Gates Foundation’s Agriculture Development Division, according to SciDev.Net.

In Africa, the foundation’s focus countries are Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Bangladesh and India, particularly the states of Bihar and Orissa, are the priority countries for Asia.

These countries will receive assistance to help translate research and development into practices on the ground, Pingali has explained.

Meanwhile, on priority areas for funding, Pingali said the Gates Foundation would concentrate its investments on international research, policy and advocacy. The foundation would also support efforts to improve collection and analysis of data about agricultural production and improvements, according to SciDev.Net.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.