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December 15th, 2017 / Blueprint, Nigeria

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $300 million (about N108 billion) in grants to support agricultural research which would help poor farmers to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

The Foundation announced the commitment, which will run between 2018 and 2020, at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Monday.

The Foundation stated that the grants would assist farmers to address challenges of rising temperatures, extreme weather patterns (droughts and floods), diseases, poor soil fertility and attacks from crop pests.
Farmers in Africa and Asia are targeted to benefit from the grants.

“Two-thirds of the world’s poorest people live in Africa and Asia, and roughly 800 million of them rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

“These smallholder farmers play a negligible role in generating carbon emissions but they suffer some of the harshest effects of climate change.

“As the climate changes, farmers’ ability to produce crops to feed their families or earn an income will be increasingly threatened.

“Livelihoods will be destroyed and climate-related pressures could force people to abandon their homes and communities, in search of better conditions.

“Poor farmers in developing countries will need the most innovative tools and technologies to adapt to the effects of climate change,” the Foundation stated. Read more