MADRID: The bulk of the roughly three billion dollars given over the past decade by the Gates Foundation to foster agriculture in poor countries has been given to aid groups based in rich nations, said a study published Tuesday. The foundation — set up by Microsoft founder Bill Gates to fight poverty and disease in impoverished nations — awarded 610 agricultural development grants worth $3.11 billion between 2003 and September 2013, the study by the Barcelona-based research group Grain found. Roughly half of this amount went to international organisations such as the World Bank or United Nations agencies, as well as global agriculture research networks, Grain said in a report. “The other half ended up with hundreds of different research, development and policy organisations across the world,” the group said. “Of this last group over 80 percent of the grants were given to organisations in the United States and Europe, 10 percent to groups in Africa and the remainder elsewhere.” The main recipient nation for agricultural grants was the United States followed by Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, according to the study.