New York, Sep 13 – The problem of hunger in places like sub-Saharan Africa cannot be solved with humanitarian aid, but rather requires investing in new technologies that allow these regions to produce the food they need, according to Bill Gates.
“The world should be generous and prevent people from going hungry, but in another sense, that doesn’t solve the larger problem. The goal shouldn’t just be to give more food aid. It should be to make sure that aid isn’t needed in the first place.” “, he points out in an essay that accompanies a report on development prepared by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation published this Tuesday.
The billionaire businessman addresses the current food crisis in the text, which in recent months has been aggravated by the war in Ukraine, and is committed to innovation as the main response.
Gates highlights the possibilities offered by what he calls “magic seeds”, products developed with new technologies that allow the cultivation of plants that are more resistant and adapted to hotter and drier climates.
As an example, he points to the success of a project that his foundation began to support 14 years ago in Africa and that has managed to produce corn in Kenya that generates much more grain than the classic varieties or new types of rice that are being promoted in India and they require less time to grow.
He also developed artificial intelligence models that would make it possible to identify the best crops for each area or predict possible pests.
“It’s good that people want to prevent other humans from starving when conflicts like the one in Ukraine disrupt food supplies, but we also have to recognize that those crises are symptoms of a deeper problem,” he says.
Gates reminds that many countries still do not produce enough food and that the climate crisis is complicating things even more.
“The challenge cannot be solved with donations, it requires innovation,” he insists.