Bill Gates pledges £28m to fund 'cutting edge' British agri-research

Mr Gates heard how British agricultural innovation is making strides
Mr Gates heard how British agricultural innovation is making strides

Bill Gates has pledged more than £28 million funding for "cutting-edge" agriculture research projects in Edinburgh.

The Microsoft founder visited Edinburgh University to see how communities worldwide are being helped by innovative British agricultural research.

Mr Gates, who is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed with the UK's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt how projects based in Edinburgh are improving the health and productivity of people and farm animals at home and abroad.

During their visit, they took part in a discussion event with staff and students to highlight how UK innovations are improving the prosperity of farmers in developing countries.

Mr Gates heard how science and research led by British agricultural innovation is making strides in improving the health and productivity of livestock.

They unveiled a plaque to formally launch the University’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, a £35 million research and teaching initiative focused on safeguarding the future of the world’s food supplies.

New funding

In her speech, Ms Mordaunt unveiled a package of investments in research to improve the resilience of farmers’ crops and livestock to natural disasters and protect them from diseases.

This included £4m for the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, which is based in the University’s Roslin Institute at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies.

The British aid research will not only stop diseases from destroying the livelihoods of African farmers, it will also help control livestock diseases on British farms.

Bill Gates also announced $40m (£28m) funding for the Edinburgh-based charity the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), which works to improve the accessibility and affordability of livestock vaccines, medicines and diagnostics in developing countries