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Feb 18, 2010

PPP - Pioneer Hi-Bred, Gates Foundation, and USAID Team to Bring Nitrogen Efficiency Seeds to Africa

Photo: Mary Chind, Des Moines Register
According to the Des Moines Register, Pioneer Hi-Bred's project to introduce nitrogen efficiency plants in Africa is being supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development.  The project's funding is an estimated US$19.5 million.  The seeds will be targetted at improving crop yields for small and resource poor Africa farmers coping with low soil fertility and little access to nitrogen fertilizers.

When interviewed about Pioneer's project, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant noted that his company "would be interested in paying Pioneer for use of the nitrogen-intensive traits if they prove successful." Monsanto is working on a similar project in Africa that focuses on drought-tolerant maize.  According to Grant, "My dream is that we launch drought tolerance in central Iowa on the same day we launch in Nairobi ... It's the democratization of technology."
For more see:

Brasher, Philip. “Seed Giants Plan Projects to Aid Africa.” Des Moines Register, 18 Feb. 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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