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Monsanto Pledges $50M Toward African Agricultural Development

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:08am

ST. LOUIS (PRNewswire) — Monsanto Company's Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant Friday will announce the company's support of the New Vision for Agriculture Initiative, the Grow Africa Partnership and the G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition through a $50 million commitment over the next ten years to support sustained Africa agricultural development and growth. The announcement is being made as part of a full-day symposium, Advancing Food and Nutrition Security at the 2012 G8 Summit, hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

During the event, G8 and African leaders, businesses, international organizations and civil society groups are convening to discuss new activities to advance food and nutrition security and agricultural development in Africa.

"I'm delighted to be here taking part in this conversation as I believe public and private sector commitment is necessary and able to support a transformation in African agriculture," Grant said. "As a company committed to improving lives through agriculture, we stand ready to work together with African leaders to turn their ideas into action with the sense of urgency and scale needed to deliver local solutions to meet our global challenges."

As part of its commitment to support food and nutrition security and agricultural development in Africa, Monsanto will seek increased collaboration among farmers, private industry, governments and civil society groups that can fuel the development of innovations to increase productivity while also strengthening the complete African agricultural value chain.

"There is no single group or simple solution that can solve the food issues facing a growing population," Grant added. "Rather, through the partnership and cooperation of many, we can deliver improvements that can drive food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity in Africa and beyond."

Part of Monsanto's commitment will go to its continued support of Tanzania's Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First) initiative focused on developing a vibrant agricultural sector that will benefit farmers in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania. The initiative seeks to improve food and nutrition security, reduce rural poverty and ensure environmental sustainability.

In partnership with the Tanzanian government, Monsanto will take a holistic approach, making commitments to key investments and partnerships that are aligned with Tanzania's agricultural priorities and that span the maize and vegetable agricultural value chains.

Plans include improved access to financial services through a partnership with Opportunity International, continued work with Tanzanian scientists through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project to introduce new maize hybrids suitable for Tanzania and available royalty free to seed companies, support of a new depot in the agricultural corridor and strengthening of agro-dealer networks to provide more choice to farmers, support of a new initiative led by the Earth Institute of Columbia University focused on soil health to encourage best management practices, and creation of opportunities that provide farmers with improved access to markets.

Monsanto will also partner with additional organizations on the ground in Tanzania, including Farm Input Promotion Services on farmer education programs and Muunganisho Ujasiriamali Vijijini (MUVI) on the formation of farmer cooperatives that enable farmers to collectively negotiate and market their harvest.

Friday's announcement is part of Monsanto's strong commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates around the world and builds on its more than forty-year commitment to agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The full Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, including a 2:45 p.m. ET panel discussion on agricultural innovation featuring Monsanto Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant, will be live streamed at www.livestream.com/thechicagocouncil. Follow on twitter at #globalag.

The Grow Africa Partnership is a platform, built on public-private partnership models piloted by the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Agriculture Initiative, that seeks to accelerate investments and transformative change in African agriculture based on national agricultural priorities. For more information, visit www.growafrica.com.

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