Germany, Gates in $108M anti-hunger drive

By the Associated Press | January 29, 2013 | 8:31 AM EST

Bill Gates, founder of the software company Microsoft, poses for the media prior to a press conference after a meeting with German Development Aid Minster Dirk Niebel, unseen, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Slogan in the background reads 'Commitment'. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government says it is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and businesses to invest some €80 million ($108 million) in projects to help alleviate hunger.

Development Minister Dirk Niebel met Tuesday with Bill Gates and German business representatives. Niebel's ministry said Germany plans to invest €20 million, with the same amount coming from the Gates Foundation and roughly €40 million from businesses.

The ministry said it couldn't give a specific timeframe for the period over which the investment will be spread, and some projects already are under way.

Projects include a drive to improve rice production in southeast Asia, and to make cashew nut production in west Africa more efficient. Companies involved include Bayer AG's crop science unit and chemical maker BASF SE.