[Exclusive] Gates Foundation to Strengthen Collaboration With China on Agriculture, Bill Gates Says
Qian Xiaoyan | Zhang Yangyang
DATE:  Sep 12 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai

(Yicai) Sept. 12 -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will strengthen its cooperation with China on agricultural scenarios, Bill Gates told Yicai in an exclusive interview.

During his first visit to China since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gates met many agricultural scientists, he told Yicai yesterday, adding that he also sat down with partners, key government ministries, grantees, and scientists.

"We need far better seeds," Gates said. “China itself [needs] to be even more sufficient and grow more crops, even in the face of climate change, the idea of applying advanced technologies to make better seeds, to have better livestock genetics, and also have those advances benefit the world, including the poor farmers in Africa.”

"I think in that scenario, we are going to strengthen the cooperation between the Gates Foundation and China," Gates noted.

As the world's largest producer and consumer of rice, China has rich experience in rice cultivation and promotion.

A type of water-saving and drought-resistant rice developed by the Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center was approved in Uganda and will start large-scale cultivation there, said Liu Zaochang, a researcher at the SAGC and one of the Chinese scientists developing rice varieties that can adapt to the climate of African countries.

At the end of the interview, Gates said he went straight from China to Africa, to Niger and Nigeria, where he saw how great the needs are there. "The whole visit reminded me that we need to take science and get it out into these countries that face very tough challenges," he pointed out.

Gates also visited the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, where he met many scientists. "It was fantastic to share with each other where we have seen progress and where we could work together," Gates said.

"China is setting a great example for the world in bringing down the tuberculosis disease and being part of the world to come up with new drugs," he added.

Gates visited Microsoft Research in Beijing, which is located next to Tsinghua University. There, he saw researchers work in partnership with the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute using AI to find what drugs we should design to cure TB. "This is a very state-of-the-art effort," he noted.

Gates also had a lot of meetings about malaria during his visit. "China itself was declared malaria-free, but it still has a lot of expertise that it used, which means more malaria articles are done in China than in other countries," Gates said. "That research and generosity will be quite valuable to us."

Editor: Futura Costaglione

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Keywords:   Bill Gates