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White men meet in London to plot ways of profiting off Africa’s seed systems

White men meet in London to plot ways of profiting off Africa’s seed systems

A meeting is to be held in London on 23 March by predominantly white men with a sprinkling of Africans, some of whom represent private seed companies, to discuss how to make a killing off Africa?s seed systems.

Farmers and civil society organisations have not been invited to the meeting, which will be attended only by private seed companies, donors, representatives from Africa?s regional economic communities, research centres and multinational development organisations.

The meeting will discuss a study produced by Monitor-Deloitte, commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and USAID. BMGF is a big sponsor of the commercialisation of agriculture in Africa, including through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Working with USAID, this commercial agenda extends US foreign policy into Africa and threatens the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers who rely on recycling seed for their livelihoods.

The goal of the Deloitte study is to develop models for commercialisation of seed production in Africa, especially on early generation seed (EGS), and to identify ways in which the African public sector could facilitate private involvement in African seed systems. The

G8 “Hunger Summit” initiative rejected by African civil society – Corporate takeover of agriculture & land will increase hunger, groups claim

At the heart of the leading initiatives to ?modernise? African agriculture is a drive to open markets and create space for multinationals to secure profits. Green revolution technologies ? and the legal and institutional changes being introduced to support them ? will benefit a few at the expense of the majority.

As world leaders gather at the high profile ?Hunger Summit? in London this week to endorse the spate of on-going initiatives to ?modernise? African agriculture, 57 farmer and civil society organisations from 37 countries across the continent have slammed these efforts as ?a new wave of colonialism?. Harmonisation, free trade and the creation of institutions and infrastructure to facilitate multinational companies’ penetration into Africa are presented as the answer to food insecurity on the continent. These large multinational seed, fertiliser and agrochemical companies are setting the agenda for the G8?s “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa”, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the implementation of the African Union?s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

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