Green Revolution / Agribusiness in Africa

Green Revolution / Agribusiness in Africa

Patents, Climate Change and African Agriculture: Dire Predictions

Uncertainty and apprehension often afford opportunity to the cunning. This is certainly the case with climate change. The multinational seed and agrochemical industry see climate change as a means by which to further penetrate African agricultural markets by rhetorically positioning itself, even if implausibly, as having the solution to widespread climate concerns. Their so-called ?final solution? to deal with the impact of climate change on African agriculture depends on mass adoption of GM seeds and chemically intensive agricultural practices. This model poses serious biosafety risks and demands the surrender of Africa‘s food sovereignty to foreign corporations and the widespread acceptance of patents on life in Africa.

Despite its obvious pitfalls, this model is being aggressively promoted by multinationals, private philanthropy and some African national agricultural research programmes, often funded by the first two. The money and public relations forces backing the seed giants threaten to drown out other voices and other possibilities for African agriculture.

In this briefing, we expose the forces behind ?climate ready? crops, including the central role played by gene giant Monsanto and provide data on patents on climate genes in respect to key African staple and other food crops.

September 2009

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Africa’s Green Revolution rolls out the Gene Revolution

THE ‘New Green Revolution in Africa‘, touted since the 1990s, was given renewed impetus two and a half years ago, when the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).1 Although AGRA itself does not incorporate genetically modified (GM) crops in its projects, the ominous presence of GM companies and GM technologies hovers over the Green Revolution push like a bad dream.

Millions of dollars have been poured into the coffers of a host of carefully selected role players, to lay the groundwork for the industrialisation of African agriculture and creation of markets for agribusiness giants. These AGRA players include US groups such as Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA) and the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC). Both these groups are successfully enmeshing the corporate interests of Syngenta Crop Protection, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, Du Pont Crop Protection and Monsanto within AGRA projects in select African countries.

It is also becoming extremely important to link the huge amounts of cash flowing into ‘Green Revolution’ coffers, to the enormous cash injections flowing from the Gates Foundation into biosafety projects in Africa. The beneficiaries of huge Gates Foundation

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

New Green Revolution for Africa: Trojan Horse for GMOs

After more than 10 years of genetically modified (GM) crop plants being grown in the world, only South Africa out of 53 countries on the African continent have commercial plantings of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 9 countries, Burkina Faso; Egypt; Kenya; Morocco; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe have reported field trials of GMOs, while Uganda recently announced that field trials involving GM sweet
bananas would commence during May 2007. 1 20 African countries (Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe) are engaged in GMO research and development. At least 24 countries (Algeria; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Egypt; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe) have the capacity and institutions to conduct research and development into agricultural biotechnology.

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Trojan Horse for GMOs

After more than 10 years of genetically modified (GM) crop plants being grown in the world, only South Africa out of 53 countries on the African continent have commercial plantings of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 9 countries, Burkina Faso; Egypt; Kenya; Morocco; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe have reported field trials of GMOs, while Uganda recently announced that field trials involving GM sweet bananas would commence during May 2007. 20 African countries (Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe) are engaged in GMO research and development. At least 24 countries (Algeria; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Egypt; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe) have the capacity and institutions to conduct research and development into agricultural biotechnology.

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Monsanto’s Seed of Hope Campaign

The African Centre for Biosafety offers this briefing paper to you, titled “Monsanto‘s Seed of Hope Campaign in South Africa.”

In the briefing, we offer information about Monsanto‘s Seed of Hope Campaign in the Eastern Cape-the poorest of South Africa‘s nine provinces, where Monsanto’s project was subsidised with huge chunks of public funds, which enabled it to penetrate extremely impoverished communities- first by introducing a Green Revolution type package as an important precursor to the introduction of its GM maize seeds, ably assisted by Bayer Cropscience, amongst other players.

During September 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a donation of $150 million to contribute to a ?Second Green Revolution? in Africa to alleviate poverty and hunger. The money will be used, amongst other things, to promote technology packages for small-scale farmers containing fertilizer and new seeds. The aims of this new Green Revolution for Africa are very similar to Monsanto’s Seeds of hope campaign and are likely to benefit the seed and fertilizer industries, while having negligible impacts on total food production and further marginalizing African rural areas.

The South African government has a close and intimiate