In New Challenge, Bill Gates to Show Small Farmers' Role in Poverty, Hunger Reduction

Odetta Mukanyiko harvests corn in her field in the village of Musaza. Purchase for Progress, an initiative run by the World Food Program, connect small farmers from Musaza and other areas around Rwanda with markets in order to sell their beans and maize. Photo by: Gates Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

In a bid to boost support for small farmers in developing countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is inviting people from around the world to submit unique and compelling videos, photos, infographics, posters, tweets and games that highlight the role of agricultural development to global efforts against poverty and hunger.

“On May 24, I’ll be giving a speech in Washington, D.C. to draw attention to farming families in the developing world and the important role they play in cutting hunger and poverty,” Bill Gates said in a blog post launching the “Small Farmers Are The Answer” challenge. “I need your help in making the case about why small farmers are so important – in fact, I want you to share your best ideas and help spread the word.”

Gates is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at a symposium on global agriculture and food security hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The event will also feature U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge aims to show how “small farmers are growing more, earning more, using better seeds, having success with livestock, and gaining access to new market opportunities” and how the world can help them further improve their lives.

Here’s what interested individuals or groups can do to join: build a game that highlights the challenges and successes of small farmers, create an infographic or power visual that shows the story of small farmers, design an iconic poster, produce a short live action or animated video telling a compelling story, create a photo essay of small farmers in the developing world, or write a forceful and universal tweet.

The foundation says it will highlight its favorites from each category on its website, social media channels and in a blog post by Gates.

Entries can be submitted until May 31, 11:59 PST, to

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About the author

  • 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.