Since his mother’s death in 2004, Howard Buffett has spent his energies and money fighting global hunger.
After a meeting with farmers in Fufuo, Ghana, Howard Buffett stood up to shake hands, African style. He extended his right arm, marked with a faint scar from a cheetah bite, and then launched into a rapid combination of finger snapping and palm slapping. The middle child of Warren Buffett is an unassuming Illinois soybean and corn farmer. But for the past four years, he has played a behind-the-scenes role in the global war against hunger. Given a small portion of his father’s fortune for philanthropy, he spends much of the year traveling through Africa, experimenting with ideas for helping poor farmers produce enough crops to feed their families and so lessen the continent’s food shortage. His foundation is spending about $38 million this year on projects such as developing a disease-resistant sweet potato, encouraging poachers to switch to farming, providing micro credits, and helping farmers market their crops to United Nations’ hunger-relief programs. Probably his most ambitious project under way would give African corn breeders royalty-free access to Monsanto’s biotechnology for drought-tolerant corn. – From WSJ
Photo: Melissa L. Hickox
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.