Gates Ag One – short for Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations – is a new nonprofit begun by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization will focus on smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia where a total of 2.8 billion people are rural and depend on small-scale agriculture for their food and income. Half or nearly half of employment in these two regions is from small-scale agriculture. Despite their importance to local and regional economies, the yield from these farms is far below that in other locations.
Gates Ag One aims to increase access to the affordable tools and innovations these farmers need to sustainably improve crop productivity and, more importantly, to adapt to the effects of climate change. By working with partners regional and international public- and private sector partners, Gates Ag One will develop drought-resistant, yield-enhancing seeds and crops; make advancements to see that land and water are used more sustainably; and see that rural farmers have access to affordable insurance and agricultural markets. The goal is to give small holder farmers what they need to lift themselves out of poverty.