By Tom Philpott
The Gates Foundation has emerged as a kind of de facto USDA for Africa: a deep-pocketed funder with a focus on agriculture, in a continent that has seen ag-research funding plunge over the past several decades.
For a while, the Gates Foundation sought to avoid a reputation as a cheerleader for biotech “solutions” to Africa’s agriculture troubles.
Sure, our nation’s best-funded foundation hired a former Monsanto exec, Rob Horsch, as a program officer. But its official ag-development documents (see, for example, this one) brim with statements on the importance of small-scale farming—a wise idea, given that a majority of Africa’s residents rely on small-scale farming for their sustenance.
Continue reading Gates Foundation Throws Its Lot With Agribusiness