Tag Archive: fertiliser

AFAP in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania—for profits or people?

AFAP in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania—for profits or people?

The chemical fertiliser push in Africa and its implications for smallholder farmers is not receiving enough attention in current discourses concerning Green Revolution policies and practises in Africa. Yet chemical fertilisers are big business on the continent, where its adoption is strongly supported by African governments through subsidy schemes and regional organisations such as NEPAD, the African Union and COMESA, and international donor organisations such as USAID, DfiD, the FAO and the Soros Foundation.
The African Centre for Biodiversity has been tracking this issue for a while now and has today released a further research report on the issue, titled, “AFAP in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania, for Profits or People”. Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania are key target breadbasket countries for the African Fertilizer Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), one of the main beneficiaries of the Gates Foundation-funded Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

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Nuanced rhetoric and the path to poverty: AGRA, small-scale farmers, and seed and soil fertility in Tanzania

The report indicates a well-coordinated effort by selected states especially the US and in the EU, philanthropic institutions like AGRA, multilateral institutions like the World Bank, donors and multinational corporations (MNCs) including Yara, Monsanto and Pioneer to construct a Green Revolution that aims to produce a layer of commercial surplus producers. This is an explicit goal and they are not shy of saying it. However, the long-term social and ecological impacts of this agenda are questionable, with concerns about loss of land, biodiversity, and sovereignty.

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AGRA’s scandalous subsidisation of big fertiliser, financial and agribusiness corporations in Africa

In a scandalous move of skulduggery, the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), under the guise of empowering smallholder farmers in Africa, is subsidising multinational fertiliser and financial corporations on African soil. Other beneficiaries of this scheme are the global grain trading and food processing giants.

AFAP, established in 2012, with a grant of US $25 million from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-the biggest grant given to a single recipient by AGRA so far- is ostensibly working towards ensuring that African smallholder farmers grow food and profits. However, according to a new report from the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) – The African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP): The missing link in Africa’s Green Revolution, AFAP’s main focus is the provision of credit guarantees to importers and distributors of fertilisers in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“In essence, AFAP is using development funds, as well as money from the Ethiopian government – one of the least developed countries in the world – to subsidise multinational fertiliser companies such as Yara, which dominates the fertiliser trade in Africa. This also extends to large multinational banks such as the Standard Bank Group, Barclays and the Dutch firm Rabobank, who

Resources transferred from small-scale farmers to multinational agribusinesses in Malawi’s Green Revolution

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has today released its research report based on field work conducted in Malawi, titled “Running to stand still: Small-scale farmers and the Green Revolution in Malawi.” The research, conducted by the ACB in collaboration with the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology and Dr Blessings Chinsinga from the University of Malawi, does not validate the argument that Malawi is a Green Revolution success story. On the contrary, the research highlights the plight of small-scale farmers at the receiving end of the Green Revolution (GR) push in Malawi. Among its findings are that farmers are trapped in a cycle of debt and dependency on costly external inputs with limited long-term benefit, and that the natural resource base is being degraded and eroded despite ? or perhaps because of – GR inputs.

According to ACB’s lead researcher, Dr Stephen Greenberg, “our research found that small-scale farmers are using shockingly high levels of synthetic fertilisers at great financial costs to themselves and the public purse. Rising soil infertility is a feature of farming systems reliant on synthetic fertiliser. We found that farmers are increasingly adopting hybrid maize seed, encouraged by

Running to Stand Still: Small-Scale Farmers and the Green Revolution in Malawi

According to ACB?s lead researcher, Dr Stephen Greenberg, ?our research found that small-scale farmers are using shockingly high levels ofsynthetic fertilisers at great financial costs to themselves and the publicpurse. Rising soil infertility is a feature of farming systems reliant on synthetic fertiliser. We found that farmers are increasingly adopting hybrid maize seed, encouraged by government subsidies and the promise of massive yields. However, adoption of these hybrid seeds comes at the cost of abandoning diversity and resilience of local seed varieties, and the ever escalating requirement for synthetic fertilisers. Indeed, our findings show net transfers away from farming households to agribusinesses such as SeedCo, Pannar (recentlymerged with Pioneer Hi-Bred), Monsanto and Demeter in the commercial seed industry. For fertiliser, the major fertiliser producers and distributors are Farmers World (which also owns Demeter seed), Yara, TansGlobe, Omnia and Rab Processors.?

Executive summary

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Full Report

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Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA): laying the groundwork for the commercialisation of African agriculture

We consider AGRA’s broad philosophy and structure, focusing on AGRA’s own views or those of its consultants, before turning to a more detailed consideration of its specific work in the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) and, in slightly less detail, its Soil Health Programme (SHP). These programmes are inseparable because seed and soil fertility technologies are interlinked. Seed and fertiliser are the fundamental technological interventions on which AGRA’s strategies hang. The paper concludes with thoughts for ways for the broad agroecological and food and seed sovereignty movements to respond to AGRA.

Our conclusions include the following: AGRA is undoubtedly laying the groundwork for the commercialisation of African agriculture and its selective integration into global circuits of accumulation. Benefits will be unevenly spread and we should expect accelerated divergences in farmer interests. This will lead to greater class differentiation and a deepening commodification of African agriculture (subordinating agricultural products to the imperatives of exchange for the realisation of surplus value, rather than as use values in their own right).

The shadow of Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other seed and agrichemical multinationals, and equity funds lie just behind the scenes of AGRA’s show. Building new markets and market infrastructure for

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa: Turning Africa into a repository for failed agricultural technologies

The ‘new’ Green Revolution push in Africa is directed squarely at increasing agricultural production as the continent’s most fundamental development priority. The most visible actor in the Green Revolution onslaught is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Despite initial successes in increasing output in Asia and Latin America, the Green Revolutions in those respective continents have nevertheless been criticized for their environmental, nutritional and micro-economic impacts. In light of these disparate findings on the various impacts of the Green Revolution, the wholesale adoption of its methods on the African continent would appear miss-informed.

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A Green Revolution for Africa: Disaster in the making

When world leaders hastily gathered at the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) high level conference to respond to the global food crisis the three Rome based UN organizations (the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural development and the World Food Programme) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to aggressively advance the Green Revolution push in Africa.

A distinctive underpinning of the propagation of the Green revolution is the inherent tendency to view food shortages as a shortcoming of food supply rather than as a more complex phenomenon requiring a far more holistic and wide ranging understanding of why people go hungry. At its core, the Green Revolution undermines Africa’s food systems and food sovereignty: People’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to use their own food and agriculture systems.

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Unmasking the New Green revolution in Africa

THIRD WORLD NETWORK
http://www.twnside.org.sg

UNMASKING THE NEW GREEN REVOLUTION IN AFRICA
Motives, Players and Dynamics

By Elenita C. Dano
Publisher: Third World Network (TWN), Church Development Service (EED) and African Centre for Biosafety
ISBN: 978-983-2729-08-2
Year: 2007 No. of pages: 68

About the Book

Efforts are currently underway to spark a ‘New Green Revolution‘ in African agriculture. Modelled on the original Green Revolution which began in Asia some five decades ago, this ambitious project entails the large-scale application of a technological package comprising new seed varieties, often including genetically modified crops, industrial farm inputs and massive agricultural infrastructure.

This paper looks at the major players behind this push for an African Green Revolution – a high-powered mix of Western Philanthropic organizations, agribusiness corporations, intergovernmental institutions and other groups – and traces the links and interconnected relationships between them. The paper also asks whether this grand scheme, which purports to be chiefly concerned with agricultural development in Africa, might not end up providing a cover for narrow corporate interests. The real solution to the problems facing African agriculture, the author argues, lies not with such externally imposed initiatives but in the hands of African farmers and smallholders themselves, who