Bill Gates claims that “magic seeds” designed to adapt to climate change will help solve world hunger

Bill Gates has called for greater investment in engineered crops that can adapt to climate change and resist agricultural pests, in an effort to end world hunger.

In the latest annual goalkeeper report from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates said the global hunger crisis is so massive that food aid cannot fully address the problem.

What is also needed, he says, are innovations in farming technology that could help reverse the crisis.

Gates particularly points to a breakthrough he calls “magic seeds” — including corn that has been bred to be more resistant to hotter, drier climates and rice that requires three fewer weeks in the field.

He said these innovations will allow for increased agricultural productivity despite climate change.

However, he claims that the research and development budget for new innovations like magic seeds is still very small compared to spending on food aid.

“It’s good that people want to prevent their fellow human beings from going hungry when conflicts like Ukraine cut off the food supply, but we also need to recognize that these crises are symptoms of a deeper problem,” Gates says in the report.

Many countries are not growing enough yet, and climate change is making farming more difficult. This challenge cannot be solved with donations. It requires innovation.

Doris Moya, 45, compares a piece of recycled maize with the larger cobs of a climate-resistant hybrid maize seed crop in Machakos, Kenya on March 2, 2021. Climate change is dramatically affecting African smallholders and farmers in the form of irregular rains and droughts.

Chart comparing the amount of food aid to the R&D budget for new innovations like magic seeds

Chart comparing the amount of food aid to the R&D budget for new innovations like magic seeds

Bill Gates (pictured) says the global hunger crisis is so massive that food aid cannot fully address the problem

Bill Gates (pictured) says the global hunger crisis is so massive that food aid cannot fully address the problem

What are GM crops and how are they different from GM plants?

Gene editing promises to produce “super crops” by altering or excluding genes that occur naturally in plants.

Unlike genetically modified (GM) plants, genetically modified (GE) crops do not contain “foreign” DNA from other species.

Genetically modified crops are produced using CRISPR, a new tool for making precise modifications to DNA.

Scientists use a specialized protein to make subtle changes to a plant’s DNA that can occur naturally or through selective breeding.

Genetically modified crops have foreign genes added to their DNA – a process that often cannot occur naturally.

The United States, Brazil, Canada and Argentina have indicated that they will exempt GM crops that do not contain foreign DNA from GM regulations.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private foundation and is best known for its work in global health, including vaccines.

It began in its current form in 2000, after Gates left the CEO position at Microsoft, the tech giant he co-founded.

The corporation has invested heavily in farming technology, including a type of corn seed that thrives in higher temperatures and drier conditions, known as D DryTEGO.

The seeds were first developed under the African Agricultural Technology Foundation program, to which the Gates Foundation has awarded $131 million since 2008.

Since then, the foundation has spent $1.5 billion on grants focused on agriculture in Africa, according to Candid, a nonprofit that researches charitable giving.

Gates points to the potential of predictive modeling — using artificial intelligence to manipulate the genome sequences of crops along with environmental data and evoke a data-driven view of what farms will need to look like in the future.

From this computer model, researchers can determine what type of plant is optimal for a particular location. Or they can do the opposite: determine the optimal place to plant a particular crop.

The technology is still in its infancy, but similar predictive models — which predict where farms might be exposed to invasive species or crop diseases, for example — have already seen tremendous results.

Doris Moya, 45, poses with maize from her last crop of climate-resistant hybrid maize seeds in Machakos, Kenya on March 2, 2021.

Doris Moya, 45, poses with maize from her last crop of climate-resistant hybrid maize seeds in Machakos, Kenya on March 2, 2021.

Corn accounts for about 30 percent of all calories in people in sub-Saharan Africa.  It is a very important crop, but also a delicate crop.  When temperatures exceed 30 °C (86 °F), the growth process begins to break down;  Pollination and photosynthesis are slow.  Each additional degree above 30°C per day reduces crop yield by at least 1 percent

Corn accounts for about 30 percent of all calories in people in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a very important crop, but also a delicate crop. When temperatures exceed 30 °C (86 °F), the growth process begins to break down; Pollination and photosynthesis are slow. Each additional degree above 30°C per day reduces crop yield by at least 1 percent

The institution’s spending on agricultural development is why Gates’ insight into how countries respond to food insecurity has taken on increased importance in a year when there were 345 million acute hunger people worldwide.

The World Food Program said in July that number represented a 25 percent increase from before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, and a 150 percent jump from before the outbreak in the spring of 2020.

However, when assigning technology a prominent role in tackling the global food crisis, Gates places himself at odds with critics who say his ideas run counter to global efforts to protect the environment.

They noted that such seeds generally need pesticides and fertilizers based on fossil fuels to grow.

Critics also maintain that Gates’ approach does not address the urgency of the crisis.

The “magic seed” takes years to develop and will not provide immediate relief to countries that are currently suffering extensively because they depend on food imports or are experiencing historical droughts.

It’s a debate that could intensify international pressure to achieve the shared goals of global prosperity and peace, known as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, before the 2030 deadline.

The 17 goals include eradicating poverty and hunger, combating climate change, providing access to clean water, working to achieve gender equality, and reducing economic inequality.

Bill Gates pledges $20 billion to his charitable foundation to help solve the world’s ‘big problems’

Bill Gates has pledged to donate $20 billion to his charitable foundation so it can increase its annual spending and help solve “the world’s great problems” and “reduce suffering.”

In the face of global setbacks including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the devastating impact of climate change, Gates said he’s making the donation “to help meet urgent global needs.”

Gates, who founded the Gates Foundation with his now ex-wife Melinda in 2000, said he plans to give “nearly all of his fortune” to the foundation — a move he said would see him off the world list. the richest people.

“I have an obligation to give back my resources to society in ways that will have the greatest impact in reducing suffering and improving lives,” Gates said. “And I hope that others will step forward in positions of great wealth and privilege at this moment as well.”

Donation of $20 billion, plus Longtime Board Member and CEO Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway’s $3.1 billion last month, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant totals nearly $70 billion, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, in the world , based on daily stock valuations.

The Gates Foundation plans to raise its annual budget by 50 percent above pre-pandemic levels to about $9 billion by 2026.

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