Speaking at the World Food Prize Symposium October 15, Bill Gates announced his family foundation will provide $120 million in funding for nine institutions to support research.

Foundation successes to date include drought resistant maize and millet in Africa and water tolerant rice for Asia.

"Environmentalists are standing in the way of feeding humanity, through their opposition to biotechnology, farm chemicals and nitrogen fertilizer,” Gates said. 

He contends enhanced productivity is necessary to feed consumers and to maintain the viability of farmers throughout the world. Gates said this can be achieved without sacrificing sustainability.