"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a very recent entrant in the agricultural development space. We have been active in this area for just over five years, yet we quickly became a major donor and advocate for smallholder agricultural development. Between the years 2006 and 2011, the Foundation invested close to US$2 billion to promote sustainable agricultural productivity growth, with a particular emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Foundation is currently among the top five donors providing grants for agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and possibly the top source of public research and development (R&D) support for the region."