A proposal unveiled by President Obama on 2 April 2009 at the London G-20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy would increase funding for agriculture research in the United States. President Obama called on Congress to halve the number of people suffering from hunger worldwide by increasing U.S. aid to developing nations for food and agriculture to more than $1 billion dollars in 2010.

The President’s proposal seeks to modernize agriculture in developing countries through a number of measures, including expanding collaboration between U.S. land-grant universities and institutions in the developing world. Many U.S. land-grant universities conduct research that informs and benefits agriculture in poorer nations.

The Senate is considering a similar measure. On 31 March 2009, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill that would authorize increasing foreign aid to developing nations to $2.5 billion in 2014. The legislation would also authorize funding for U.S. land-grant universities and institutions for collaborative agriculture research with foreign institutions, and extension and education services.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is moving forward with research funding that will benefit farmers in developing nations. NSF has announced a $48 million partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund research that addresses drought, pests, and disease, with the goal of boosting agricultural productivity in developing countries.

 


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