News Detail [ID: 52]

Driving agricultural research agenda with focus on the most vulnerable

Brussels | Belgium | 01 January 2018

The European Commission and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched a joint initiative to drive research and technical innovations across agricultural and food systems in developing countries. The focus of the research initiative will be set on smallholder farmers. Aim is to generate knowledge and create the evidence needed to build policies and interventions that support farmers in adapting their practices to climate change impacts.
The Commission will provide EUR 270 mio, over three years 2018-2020, focusing on the importance of research to reiterate the pressing challenge posed from climate change on agriculture and food systems. BMGF has committed to match this funding with USD 300 mio to boost climate change related innovations through research in agriculture. The new initiative creates an interesting opportunity for the largest donor, the European Union, and the largest private philanthropist to collaborate in advancing the climate change adaptation and mitigation agenda and help implement the Paris agreement.

Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, EC

I am delighted at the prospect of working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on addressing the critical gaps in agricultural and food systems R&D. The complementarity and continuity between climate and development finance and the funding of research and innovation is essential to design private and public funding strategies for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to build trust and reduce risks for investors, which is critical for adaptation as well as for mitigation.

The initiative is in accordance with the NDCs and will complement the developing countries’ climate change adaptation plans in areas like crop improvement, protection and management. The money will be used to deploy new technologies to better understand crop characteristics and inform new ways of prevention against climate change impacts. The initiative will enhance research architecture and strengthen the national research capacities. It will increase knowledge and evidence needed for policies and strengthen the coordination of strategies on local, national and global level.

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