The Atlantic profiles billionaire farmer and philanthropist Howard Buffett and his work to reduce global hunger and preserve vast swaths of African wilderness. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, built on donations from his father, Warren Buffett, has given away more than $900 million, much of it devoted to improving agricultural methods and increasing food production in the developing world.
In an interview with the magazine, Mr. Buffett is critical of the view that technology can be a cure-all for malnutrition everywhere. He says the “green revolution” approach championed by many big donors — which has utilized new seed strains and chemical fertilizers to significantly reduce hunger in South Asia — would not work in most of Africa. Mr. Buffett favors what he calls a “brown revolution” focused on environmentally sustainable agriculture, using locally bred seeds and techniques that regenerate soil to boost yields over the long term.