Friday, January 25, 2008

IDE Awarded Second Gates Grant - $27.2 Million

International Development Enterprises (IDE), one of my favorite charities, was awarded a $27.2 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today. According to IDE, "The project aims to directly affect up to 250,000 smallholder farm families—1.75 million people—in 14 diverse states of India, increasing farmers’ income by a minimum of $400 per year, and boosting the agricultural economy by $300 million at the grassroots level. To accomplish this goal, IDE will employ its proven, creative approach to manufacture, market, and distribute affordable, scalable micro-irrigation systems though a newly-created private sector supply chain; train farmers to use micro-irrigation; and link them to high-value crop markets, using little more than their own existing resources." Running some quick math, the Gates' one-time cost is $15.54 per person, versus an expected annual benefit of $57.14 per person. Not a bad return on investment.

Bill Gates announced the grant at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as part of a $306 million investment to help millions of smallholder farmers lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Other recipients of Gates' agricultural grants include Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), TechnoServe, Heifer International, and CARE.

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