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News article about the power of the Gates Foundation

There’s an interesting article in The Guardian about Sam Dryden, head of agriculture at the Gates Foundation.

The Guardian states: When it comes to working with the poorest farmers, Sam Dryden is a titan, possibly the most powerful figure in world agriculture today. To give some idea of his reach, global annual aid spending on agriculture is now around $2.3bn, the US will spend around $1bn in 2013 on averting global hunger but that includes supporting big farms, and, in 2009, the UK department for international development (DfID), spent around £20m. But in the past few years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested more than $2bn in trying to lift smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia out of poverty, and Dryden, as its head of agriculture, is the man who decides how it is spent, where it goes, and who benefits.

No government minister, banker, civil servant or corporation wields such influence or has so few political restrictions. If Dryden and his team says "get out of Malawi", or "invest in cassava or drought-resistant crops, or a miraculous new vegetable", then people may live better or die. If he pushes organic farming or agro-ecology or GM or any particular farming technology, the whole human development of a country may be changed.

You can read the full article here.

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