The Gates Notes – Increasing African Corn Yields
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[The Gates Notes – Increasing African Corn Yield]
[William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955):] Source: LYBIO.net
In our annual letter this year, Melinda and I talk about our big bet that life will improve faster during the next 15 years for the poorest than ever before.
I was stunned to learn that farmers in the U.S. get five times as much corn from their land as African farmers do. In the United States they get 159 bushels per acre. But in Africa, they only get 30 bushels per acre.
African corn yields have risen very little since the year 2000. They start here at 29 bushels per acre. And by 2013 they were only up to 32 bushels per acre.
So what’s this bet?
Well if we give them better seeds, if we provide more fertilizer. If we educate them about the best practices, then we’ll start to see this very dramatic rise. And by 15 years from now we’ll get all the way up to 48 bushels per acre. By having this extra yield they’ll have some that they can sell and diversify their diet.
[Bill Gates:] Source: LYBIO.net
They’ll be able to afford some school fees for the children. They’ll be able to store some away so that even if they have a difficult year, they still have enough to eat. So this increase in productivity will make the world of difference for millions of farmers.
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