Billionaires Give Millions to Provide Farmers With Genetically Modified Seeds

Thanks, Bill.
Thanks, Bill. Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Bill Gates and telecom magnate Carlos Slim (the richest person in the world, according to Forbes) have donated a whopping $25 million to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain. Sure, that’s chump change to them, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Their gift will specifically go toward new biotechnology labs at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico City. CIMMYT is the research center behind the “green revolution” of the sixties, and now it’s working to develop low-cost, genetically modified (GM) seeds through hybridization. Since only a few companies control genetically modified crops and own the patents, farmers, especially those in the developing world, haven’t had access to them. CIMMYT is working to change that by donating GM seeds, or charging farmers low prices. It’s a proactive way to combat issues like climate change, water shortages, and increased demand, so hats off to two all-star members of Team One Percent. [AP]