Gates Foundation supports GFIA 2014

World’s largest private foundation confirmed as Global Development Partner for Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been confirmed as Global Development Partner for the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA). The event, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 3-5 February 2014 under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, will be the world’s largest showcase of innovations in sustainable agriculture.

As Global Development Partner, the Gates Foundation is advising GFIA on agricultural development projects around the world and is helping identify key NGOs, particularly those with a focus on Africa, that can contribute to GFIA’s program. The Gates Foundation will also provide expert counsel on how innovations can be applied practically to support developing regions of the world.

“We are delighted to have the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The important work that the Gates Foundation is undertaking in Africa has a direct impact on alleviating poverty and building a sustainable future for people who depend on the land. One of the principal aims of GFIA is to ensure that the innovations presented are able to be practically applied in the developing world, and we look forward to working closely with the Gates Foundation on achieving this,” said Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty

Agricultural Development is one of the largest initiatives of the Gates Foundation. To date, it has  have committed more than US$2 billion to agricultural development efforts, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with the goal of aiming to reduce hunger and poverty for millions of farming families in these regions by increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way.

Roy Steiner, Director of Agricultural Development at the Gates Foundation, welcomed the opportunity to participate in GFIA.

“At the Gates Foundation one of our key focus areas is small-scale farming, especially in Africa. Nearly a billion people worldwide are affected by severe hunger and poverty. Many are farmers who rely on small plots of land of about one to two acres in size for their food and income. Our goal is to help these farming families produce more food and increase their income, while preserving the land for future generations.”

“By bringing together farmers, innovators, investors and development organisations, GFIA will hopefully provide the catalyst for a sustainable agriculture revolution” said Mr. Steiner, who will be participating in the GFIA Keynote Session on Africa.

The Africa keynote session is one of several program items at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture. The multi-faceted event will also feature: an exhibition and conference; an Incubator zone; an Innovation Zone curated by the University of Arizona, where working models of some of the most inspiring innovations in agriculture today will be featured; Technical Tours to a range of sustainable agriculture projects in the UAE; a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Farmer Focus, where a dedicated program will educate GCC farmers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture; and an NGO Zone, where NGOs, development agencies and charitable foundations can meet and share ideas.

About GFIA

Held February 3-5, 2014, under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) will be the world’s largest showcase of innovations in sustainable agriculture.

With the key theme of ‘driving innovation for an agricultural revolution’, GFIA will highlight the sustainable agriculture initiatives being planned and deployed around the world, facilitate knowledge transfer and demonstrate available investment opportunities. The GFIA agenda was designed by a steering committee of 20 international experts in the fields of academia, R&D, science, industry and investment.

The GFIA program includes:

  • Exhibition and conference: keynote sessions, panel discussions, an African Ministerial debate and 150 presentations.
  • Incubator zone (sponsored by the Khalifa Fund): a low-cost space for UAE and international entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and prototypes.
  • Innovation Zone (curated by the University of Arizona): display of working models of some of the most inspiring innovations in agriculture today.
  • Technical tours to a range of sustainable agriculture projects in the UAE
  • GCC Farmer Focus: a dedicated programme to educate GCC farmers on the benefits of sustainable agriculture
  • NGO Zone: dedicated area for NGOs, development agencies and charitable foundations to meet and share ideas across sectors

GFIA will be held in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, with the University of Arizona as Knowledge Partner. Sponsors include the Khalifa Fund and Islamic Development Bank.

About the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people – especially those with the fewest resources – have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Established in 1997 by Microsoft founder and then CEO, Bill Gates, the Gates Foundation has grown to become the largest private foundation in the world. It has assets of over $40 billion, has made grants of more than $28 billion since its inception, and supports work in more than 100 countries.

For more information, contact:  Tom Lloyd-Jones Ph: +971 50 1886 103, Email: t.jones@turretme.com


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