Gates Foundation Funded Global Agriculture Projects

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Gates Foundation Funded Global Agriculture Projects are project that received funding through the Gates Foundation Global Agriculture grants. Through April 2011, the Gates Foundation gave a total of $1,656,492,804, distributed in 255 separate grants. The average grant size was $6,496,050. See also Gates Foundation Global Agriculture Grants.

Funds are distributed between the categories as follows:

  • Advocacy: 8 grants totaling $24,521,479 (1.5% of global agriculture giving); average size $3,065,185.
  • Conferences: 39 grants totaling $7,484,657 (0.5% of global agriculture giving); average size $191,914.
  • Data and Analysis: 56 grants totaling $126,101,497 (7.6% of global agriculture giving); average size $2,251,812.
  • Productivity Tools and Market Access: 60 grants totaling $840,617,316 (50.7% of global agriculture giving); average size $14,010,289.
  • Research and Development: 45 grants totaling $517,522,783 (31.2% of global agriculture giving); average size $11,500,506.
  • Training, Outreach, and Capacity Building: 47 grants totaling $140,245,072 (8.5% of global agriculture giving); average size $2,983,938.

However, the foundation does give other grants that are agricultural in nature but categorized as Nutrition or Advocacy & Public Policy by the foundation. These grants are not included in the numbers given above, but they are still relevant to any review of the Gates Foundation's role in funding agricultural development programs. Some of these projects and the grants that fund them are listed below under Other Projects.

Advocacy

A total of eight grants with a combined value of $24,521,479 were given to fund advocacy work.[1] Advocacy grants ranged in value from $184,574 to $15,000,000 and averaged 3,065,185. Grantees include:

  • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which received $15 million to create AGRA Policy Hubs
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which received $184,574 for a 2009 Task Force on Food Security.
  • The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which received a combined total of $3,499,030 in three grants to advocate for increased U.S. efforts on agricultural development overseas.
  • Imperial College London, which received $2,692,835 for its Agriculture for Impact program which "seeks to inform dialogue and decision making around agricultural development by creating a positive and compelling evidence base to demonstrate sustainable, scalable successes in agricultural development and by informing and educating European policymakers on the importance of investment in agriculture to achieve these results."
  • TrustAfrica, which received $1,626,149 for a project called "Building an Effective Advocacy Movement for Sustainable and Equitable Agricultural Development in Africa."
  • Women Thrive Worldwide, which received $1,518,891 to "increase gender integration, beneficiary participation and focus on small farmers in U.S.-based debates on international agricultural development."

Conferences

One frequent purpose for grants are to fund conferences. Altogether, 39 conference grants totaling $7,484,657 were distributed, ranging between $3000 and $995,844 with an average amount of $191,914.[1]

Data and Analysis

Many agricultural development grants go for data gathering and analysis. These include 56 grants totaling $126,101,497. The grants range from $36,757 to $19,404,839 with an average size of $2,251,812.[1]

Productivity Tools and Market Access

A total of 60 grants with a combined value of $840,617,316 were classified as "Productivity Tools and Market Access."[1] Grants ranged between $110,000 and $164,580,000 with an average size of $14,010,289.

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) received five grants:

  • $100,000,000 for AGRA Program for African Seed Systems (PASS) in 2006.
  • $164,580,000 for AGRA Soil Health Program in 2007.
  • $15,000,000 for its AGRA Market Access Program in 2008.
  • $28,000,000 for its AGRA Market Access Program Reinvestment in 2010.
  • $6,700,000for Farm Organization Support Centre for Africa (FOSCA) in 2010.
  • Total: $289,080,000

Other grants include:

Research and Development

A total of 45 Research and Development grants were funded, representing a total of $517,522,783 distributed by the Gates Foundation.[1] The grants ranged in value from $150,000 to $45,000,000 with an average value of $11,500,506. Of the total distributed for these grants, $276,726,627 go toward 29 projects that do not involve genetic engineering and $240,796,156 goes toward 16 projects that do involve genetic engineering. R&D grants included in these numbers are as follows:

Non-Genetic Engineering:

Genetic Engineering:

Not included in the above numbers are grants of $213,343 and $20,833,922 for Africa Biofortified Sorghum; a grant of $11,958,760 for ProVitaMinRice; grants of $4,753,705, $7,405,064, and $8,257,560 for BioCassava Plus; and grants of $3,946,708 and $4,489,552 for GE bananas, All of these grants are for GMOs.

C4 Rice Project

The C4 Rice Project is a project to achieve a genetically engineered variety of rice capable of C4 photosynthesis.

"Rice has what is known as a C3 photosynthetic pathway, less efficient than that of maize, which has a C4 pathway. Taking a lesson from evolution and converting a plant from C3 to C4 would involve a rearrangement of cellular structures within the leaves and more efficient expression of various enzymes related to the photosynthetic process. However, all the components for C4 photosynthesis already exist in the rice plant, but they are distributed differently and are not as active."[2]

The project was initially funded by the Gates Foundation in October 2008 with a grant of $11,017,675 to the International Rice Research Institute "to increase yield by increase the photosynthetic efficiency of rice."[3] In October 2010, the Gates Foundation gave the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences $481,388 "to support research that will guide the C4 rice project."[4]

Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat

The Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat has so far received nearly $52 million from the Gates Foundation. Begun in 2008 and led by Cornell University, the project seeks to breed resistance to wheat stem rust into wheat.

  • January 2008: $26,830,848 "to develop improved rust resistant wheat varieties to protect resource-poor farmers."[5]
  • February 2011: $25,000,000 "to develop improved rust-resistant wheat varieties to protect resource-poor farmers."[6]

Water Efficient Maize for Africa

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation received the following grants:

Training, Outreach, and Capacity Building

Grantees received a total of $140,245,072 in 47 grants for Training, Outreach, and Capacity Building projects.[1] The grants ranged from $24,581 to $26,006,931 with an average value of $2,983,938.

Other Projects Not Included Above

Africa Biofortified Sorghum

In July 2005, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International a grant of $20,833,922 "to develop nutritionally enhanced sorghum for the arid and semi-arid tropical areas of Africa" (Africa Biofortified Sorghum).[7] The grant was for a term of 6 years. In November 2005, the gave Africa Harvest a second grant of $213,343 for the same purpose.[8] The second grant had a term of 3 years. The total funding from the Gates Foundation from those two grants equals $21 million. The project received an additional $4 million in 2011 from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation given to DuPont and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.[9]

BioCassava Plus

According to one press release, the BioCassava Plus project has received the following grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:[10]

  • 2004: $7.5 million
  • 2008: $4.6 million
  • 2011: $8.3 million

However, according to the Gates Foundation's website, the foundation has funded the following grants related to enriched cassava:

  • July 2005: $4,753,705 to Ohio State University Research Foundation "to develop cassava germplasm enriched with bioavailable nutrients." Term: 5 years.[11]
  • September 2008: $7,405,064 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to develop cassava germplasm enriched with bioavailable nutrients." Term: 3 years and 1 month.[12]
  • November 2010: $8,257,560 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to support the development of high iron, protein, and proVitamin A cassava for Nigeria and Kenya." Term: 4 years.[13]

Using either set of figures, the total amount given to this project is $20.4 million.

Additionally, in April 2011, the Gates Foundation gave $5,548,750 to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center "to support work on Mosaic and Brown Streak resistant cassava, Africa's most devastating cassava diseases." The term of the grant was 5 years and 1 month.[14]

Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)

The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) received the following grants:

  • In June 2011, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) received $11,769,899 "to contribute to the institutional setup of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency ("ATA") and support the ATA's program delivery aimed at accelerating Ethiopia's agricultural development, in line with the country strategy, growing the Ethiopian economy, and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers."[15]
  • In October 2011, Synergos Institute, Inc received $8,599,506 "to contribute the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (“ATA”) and support the ATA’s program delivery aimed at accelerating Ethiopia’s agricultural development, in line with the country strategy, growing the Ethiopian economy, and improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers."[16]

Genetically Engineered Bananas

One effort to create GE Bananas is funded by the Gates Foundation and is being led by James L. Dale at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. The goal is to create "transgenic Cavendish bananas expressing either increased pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, or iron" and to introduce them to Uganda, where the average person consumes more than 1 kg of bananas each day.[17]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation first funded a project with a grant of $3,946,708 to the Queensland University of Technology in July 2005 "to develop bananas with increased micronutrient content."[18] They followed this up with a grant of $4,489,552, also to the Queensland University of Technology, in August 2009 "to improve the nutritional status in Uganda and surrounding countries through the generation of farmer and consumer acceptable edible bananas with significantly increased fruit levels of pro-vitamin A and iron."[19] The total amount in grants equals $8.4 million.

ProVitaMinRice

In July 2005, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave Albert Ludwigs Universitat a grant of $11,958,760 "to improve the nutritious value of rice by genetic fortification with vitamins, minerals and proteins."[20] In the project, Dr. Peter Beyer at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Germany is leading "an international, collaborative effort called the ProVitaMinRice Consortium." The group seeks to "stack multiple micronutrient and bioavailability traits into Golden Rice."

"The consortium's members are developing new varieties of rice with increased levels or bioavailability of pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, and zinc as well improved protein quality and content. As their platform, the consortium's researchers are using Golden Rice, which has been genetically engineered to produce and accumulate pro-vitamin A in the grain, and are working with novel transgene-based technologies to enhance the availability of the target nutrients. The project plans to incorporate the new rice lines as well as Golden Rice into ongoing breeding and seed delivery programs for developing countries, and to make the products freely available to low-income farmers in the developing world."[21]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gates Foundation Agricultural Development Grant Overview, April 2011.
  2. About Us, Accessed March 22, 2012.
  3. Grant OPP51586, Accessed March 22, 2012.
  4. Grant OPP1014417, Accessed March 21, 2012.
  5. Grant OPP49767, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  6. Grant OPPGD1389, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  7. Grant OPP37877 - Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  8. Grant OPP37877_01 - Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  9. Howard G. Buffett Foundation Teams with DuPont and The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to Deliver Nutritionally Enhanced Sorghum to Africa, May 4, 2011, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  10. BioCassava Plus, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  11. Grant OPP37880 - Ohio State University Research Foundation, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  12. Grant OPP37880_01 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  13. Grant OPPGD1484 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  14. Grant OPPGD1485 Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  15. Grant OPP1030084, Accessed March 21, 2012.
  16. Grant OPP1012223, Accessed March 21, 2012.
  17. Optimisation of Bioavailable Nutrients in Transgenic Bananas, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  18. Grant OPP37878 - Queensland University of Technology, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  19. Grant OPP37878_01 Grant OPP37878_01 - Queensland University of Technology, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  20. Grant OPP37879 - Albert Ludwigs Universitat Freiburg, Accessed March 11, 2012.
  21. Engineering Rice for High Beta Carotene, Vitamin E and Enhanced Fe and Zn Bioavailability, Accessed March 11, 2012.

External Resources

External Articles