One of the things the Billionaire, Bill Gates is known for is his charitable and philanthropic acts. Reports have it that Gates is one of the greatest philanthropists in the world, having given out as much as $100 billion through his foundation – the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation usually invests with the aim of tackling poverty in African countries through three core areas which are health, agribusiness and education. This is why it comes as no surprise that the foundation will be supporting Nigerian smallholder farmers through innovations and investments.
The announcement was made when officials from the foundation met with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday to seek ways in which smallholder farmers could be supported in Nigeria.
Speaking on the project, Tom Kehoe, leader of the delegation and the foundation’s Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, explained that the organisation would support the Federal Government’s efforts in creating a business climate to attract private sector investments and produce innovations that would enable farmers adapt to climate change.
“Our investments are backing efforts to develop disease-resistant varieties that are more nutritious and can be easily processed to meet demands,” Tom said.
Prior to this new development, the foundation had funded the agricultural sector in the past by boosting the production of farm produce to bring about food sufficiency in Nigeria. The foundation had also previously given grants to the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in order to improve rice production in Nigeria.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest private philanthropic organisations in the world. Founded in 2002, it was previously named the William H. Gates Foundation. It is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America and reportedly has assets worth $50.7 billion.