THE PROMISE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY: INNOVATION IS KEY TO FEED THE WORLD


Jeff Raikes’ perspective on how global agriculture can “feed the world” has a different flavor than what the ag community may already know.

This billionaire literally puts his money where his mouth is and asks others to join him at the table to help develop agriculture as a tool.

“We’re in the midst of an incredible population explosion,” Raikes said. “The need is most in areas that are less arable and with less water resources. It’s an enormous challenge for our current resources to help the most vulnerable.”

To better understand Raikes, it’s important to know from where he comes. The son of a Nebraska grain farmer, Raikes was a senior executive to Bill Gates at Microsoft and then as CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He also adopted fellow Nebraskan Warren Buffett’s belief to reinvest wealth to make bigger social impacts. Today, Raikes and his wife, Tricia, have their own philanthropic foundation that focuses on worldwide youth development and includes education, health and nutrition and job development.

At a talk he called “Seeds of Change” at the Danforth Plant Science Center, Raikes couched his comments by explaining his farm roots and then shared his ideas on how agriculture can help ease hunger and poverty. Here are some of his points:

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