More than 50,000 mango and passion fruit farmers in Uganda and Kenya will receive about $11.5 million in grants to boost production and double their incomes in the next four years. The money is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Gates Foundation ($7.5 million), The Coca-Cola Company ($3 million) and Coca-Cola Sabco ($1 million).
The $7.5 million from the Gates Foundation will be provided to TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization that will be on site in Uganda and Kenya training farmers so they can improve the quality of the fruit while increasing fruit production. Additionally, farmer groups will be organized so these farmers can have better access to credit.
“As global and local demand for fruit juice grows, there is a critical need to increase production. Small farmers can benefit from this increased demand by supplying fruit that meets the needs of local buyers such as Coca-Cola. Through this partnership, farmers who were previously unable to access this market opportunity will be provided with the tools to do so. This partnership will also serve as a model for Coca-Cola as it grows its juice business in other markets and has been designed to be easily replicated.” Source: TechnoServe
The $7.5 million being provided to TechnoServe by the Gates Foundation is just the latest in a series of grants made available to farmers in Africa and Asia. To date, the Gates Foundation has provided more than $1.4 billion to improve agriculture in these two regions.
In October, the Gates Foundation announced $120 million in grants to promote sustainable agriculture practices in Africa and India. African projects funded by these grants include a campaign to increase awareness of the benefits of growing legumes, creating expert networks, and connecting local markets with area schools.