Today, the United States, Canada, Spain, South Korea and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are making a commitment to fight the threat of global food insecurity. Together we are launching the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a new fund to help the world's poorest farmers grow more food and earn more than they do now so they can lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.
"Lifting millions of people out of poverty" is a popular way of saying that people denied their traditional livelihoods -- growing grain, for example -- should "grow more food and earn more than they do now" by producing something like coffee for export to affluent markets, with "private-investment" (read: agribusiness) playing the part of "benevolent" intermediary.
Patented, high-yielding, pest-resistant, genetically-modified seeds! are just one of the mantras of this initiative, since the more poor people produce, the greater their fraction of the profits will be; the further they will be "lifted out of poverty" -- with cash on hand to purchase the very staples, now imported, that they used to produce themselves.
Unsurprisingly, the R&D and logistical expenses of these projects are to be borne by public bodies, including local governments "that are already using their own resources to invest in the most effective ways to boost crop production," with multinationals responsible for "visionary leadership" and collecting the returns.
It is worth recalling a time on this planet when communities produced their own food, suited to their own needs and "in partnership" with the local ecology. That's not what Bill Gates is talking about.