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  • on 03.02.2014
  • at 04:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

CGIAR funding rises to US$1 billion to spur agriculture 0

Nairobi – Efforts aimed at building scientific and technological innovations to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change-related impacts and improve productivity across Africa have received a major funding boost.


The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) announced last month (December 17) that their research funding increased to US$1 billion in 2013 from US$500 million in 2008. 
 
In 2013, the Australian and Mexican governments joined CGIAR’s major donors, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Commission, the World Bank and governments of Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States

According to Jonathan Wadsworth, executive secretary of the CGIAR Fund Council, the US$1 billion will cover the next five years, with nearly half of the funds going to Africa.
 
The money will be used to create scientific and technological advances to provide 12 million African households with sustainable irrigation and help 150 million people in Asia increase rice production to get them out of poverty, according to a statement from CGIAR.

The innovations could provide highly nutritious food crops to 50 million poor people across the world, the statement adds.

Wadsworth says that previous funding for agricultural research has not kept pace with the need for new innovations in areas such as increasing nutritional content of food.

“This new funding will help boost research to generate climate-smart solutions that deliver a triple win for African farmers: increased agricultural productivity, improved adaptation to a changing climate through resilience to drought, flooding and heat, and farming systems with reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” notes Wadsworth.
 
Varieties of nutritious crops developed with CGIAR support are already making impact in Africa.
 
In Machakos, Kenya, the CGIAR’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is working with farmers to improve maize varieties.

continue reading on SciDev Net

By Gilbert NakweyaSciDev Net 

This article is published in the framework of an editorial project supported by the Universal Exposition of Milan (EXPO 2015).

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