Today in keynote remarks in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced three new Feed the Future partnerships with John Deere, Mastercard, and Cornell University to reduce global hunger and poverty.
Speaking at the annual World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue symposium, the Administrator also announced a forthcoming call for co-creation with USAID to design the Agency’s next generation of biotechnology investments aimed at helping smallholder farmers in developing countries tackle their agricultural challenges.
Partnership Agreement between USAID and John Deere
Administrator Green and Andrew Traeger, Senior Vice President for Global Risk and Regions 1 and 2 (Europe, Asia and Africa) at Deere & Company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between USAID and John Deere. The two organizations will collaborate to reach more smallholder farmers and agribusinesses in emerging markets with capital, equipment, digital technology, and maintenance and repair services.
Partnership Agreement between USAID and Mastercard
USAID will expand its collaboration with Mastercard to the agriculture sector to extend digital-finance solutions to rural farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership will help connect farmers and agribusinesses in these communities to formal finance and markets, many for the first time.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement
USAID has awarded $25 million to Cornell University to lead a new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, which will manage a portfolio of research investments on crops like banana and sweet potato. The Lab will connect breeding efforts with demand to get new and better seeds to smallholder farmers through markets in Feed the Future’s 12 target countries. Clemson University and Kansas State University are key partners in the Lab, with additional universities expected to join.
USAID Annual Program Statement for Agricultural Biotechnology
USAID will soon open a call for businesses, non-governmental organizations, universities, and other partners around the world to share biotechnology solutions that tackle agricultural challenges in developing countries. USAID anticipates providing up to $70 million in funding for the best ideas to help smallholder farmers deal with pests, disease, drought, and depleted soil.
While in Iowa, Administrator Green also met with the members of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, one of USAID’s two Federal Advisory Committees, and joined them for the launch of their new report on the positive benefits USAID’s investments in agriculture and food security abroad have on the American people, economy, and food and agriculture industry.