The Gates Foundation’s aim is to help all people live healthy productive lives. The Foundation has 15 principles guiding the work they do and is broadly focussed on Global Health, Poverty and Development as well as Education and Information.
In his first major address on agriculture to high-level members of the Obama administration and U.S. Congress, Gates noted that three-quarters of the world’s poorest people rely on small plots of land for their food and income. Helping these small farmers grow and sell more so they can become self-sufficient is the most effective way to reduce hunger and poverty, he said, giving examples of progress already happening in Africa and South Asia.
This article recognises that helping poor farming families grow crops and getting it to market is the single most powerful way of alleviating poverty and hunger. One of TOP’s five objectives is to support investment in roads, ports and administrative structures that make trade possible. The poorest countries will only be able to take advantage of the richest countries opening up their markets if they have the capacity to export. They will need the physical capacity to get goods to market – roads, rail and ports. Equally essential are the professional skills and administrative structures – for example to guarantee quality standards and identify sourcing – to comply with end market requirements.