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New fund for agriculture research

The IDB is managing the start-up of a Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean that was formed by 12 Western Hemisphere nations in March.

The fund is designed to finance regional research activities that will increase the region's agricultural competitiveness while protecting the natural resource base and contributing to poverty reduction.

So far more than $75 million in pledges for the fund have been received from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The fund is expected to reach $200 million and generate at least $10 million annually.

The fund will award grants for research projects on increasing the productivity of food crops and the sustainable management of natural resources. It will target both regional and subregional research efforts, and will encourage international cooperation, especially where the needed scale of operations and skills are not easily available in one country.

In its initial phase the fund's capital will be administered by the IDB. Its Technical-Administrative Secretariat will be based in IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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