FIGURE 1-1 Distribution of undernourished people.

FIGURE 1-1 Distribution of undernourished people.

SOURCE: FAO, 2006. Reprinted with permission. © 2006 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Gates Foundation recently launched programs to improve agricultural productivity. The foundation’s Agricultural Development initiative synergizes strongly with the foundation’s global activities in other areas and brings new attention to a neglected segment of the social and economic structure of developing countries. Focusing on two areas where rural poverty and hunger are most prevalent—SSA and South Asia (SA)2—the foundation is supporting scientific research and the dissemination of technologies to improve crops, enhance soil fertility, increase the efficiency of water use, improve agricultural data, and promote market development.

As one of its guiding principles, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has stated that “science and technology have great potential to improve lives

2

South Asia is defined as including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, and Nepal; however, this report is much more heavily focused on agriculture as practiced in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh because of their large populations.



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