African farm analysts demand answers from UK over DfID funding Is the UK setting up a poverty trap for African farmers?
The Africa Centre for Biosafety (ACB), supported by Food & Water Europe and the Gaia Foundation, today wrote to UK Ministers for International Development, Business and Environment asking for evidence for the basis of UK overseas aid policy.*
ACB recently published a searing critique of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (known as AGRA, supported by agribusiness multinationals and the Gates Foundation). The study finds the scheme is ultimately not about developing lasting solutions to hunger, but imposing a cash economy on African agriculture that will inevitably result in farmers becoming dependent on the multinational corporations profiting from the hardship that will follow.
AGRA effectively seeks to institutionalise biopiracy by accessing publicly available genetic resources, patenting or imposing other intellectual property rights on the resulting seeds, and then using these industrial monoculture crops to channel African farmers into focusing on earning enough export cash to buy the privatised seed. The AGRA model uses free inputs to develop monopoly control over outputs and expects farmers to pay for seeds they previously shared and traded, and played a major part in developing over thousands of years.
AGRA?s model creates the foundation for the expansion of biotechnology and synthetic agricultural inputs,