Tag Archive: Surplus People Project



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African agriculture is in need of support and investment. Many initiatives are flowing from the North, including the G8’s “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa” and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). These initiatives are framed in terms of the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). This gives them a cover of legitimacy.

But what is driving these investments, and who is set to benefit from them?

The current wave of investment emerges on the back of the gathering global crisis with financial, economic, food, energy and ecological dimensions. Africa is seen as underperforming and in control of valuable resources that capital seeks for profitable purposes. The World Bank and others tell us Africa has an abundance of available fertile land, and that Africa’s production structure is inefficient, based as it is on many small farms producing mainly for themselves and their neighbourhoodsi.

Africa is seen as a possible new frontier to make profits, with an eye on land, food and biofuels in particular. The recent investment wave must be understood

Statement on AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa)

At a farmers rights meeting held in Uganda September 2012 a statement was drawn up and signed by many concerned parties.

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Download the press release here.

1. ActionAid, Tanzania
2. ActionAid, Uganda
3. Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, Uganda
4. African Biodiversity Network – representing 36 organisations in Africa
5. African Centre for Biosafety, South Africa
6. Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, Uganda
7. Community Technology Development Trust, Zimbabwe
8. Eastern amp; Southern Africa Farmer’s Forum, Tanzania
9. Eastern amp; Southern Africa Farmer’s Forum, Uganda
10. Eastern amp; Southern Africa Farmer’s Forum, Zambia
11. Envirocare, Tanzania
12. Ethio-Organic Seed Action, Ethiopia
13. Food Rights Alliance, Uganda
14. Inades Formation, Kenya
15. Kenya Biodiversity Coalition – representing 67 civil society groups
16. National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda
17. Participatory Ecological Land Use Management – representing 230 civil society
groups including
18. PELUM Kenya,
19. PELUM Rwanda,
20. PELUM Tanzania and
21. PELUM Uganda.
22. Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute, Uganda
23. Surplus People Project, South Africa
24. Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity, Tanzania – representing 15 organisations
25. The Pincer Group International Ltd, Uganda
26. Third World Network

ACB’s objection to Monsanto’s application for extended field trials of drought tolerant maize

In 2007 Monsanto South Africa applied for and was granted a trial release permit to conduct field trials with maize event MON87460, which has been genetically engineered for drought tolerance. Earlier this year the African Centre for Biosafety objected to a Monsanto application to import 35 hybrids for the continuation of these trials. Monsanto submitted a response to some of our concerns to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which we have been able to view. Monsanto’s response, and its latest application still leaves much cause for concern.

We reiterate Monsanto’s own expressions of doubt as to potential yield benefits of MON87460, and ask again how these meagre benefits can be justified when considering the considerable risk that the MON87460’s introduction into the environment would entail?

Information crucial to a thorough and independent assessment of the transgenic event is again missing, kept out of the public realm under the dubious moniker of being ‘confidential business information’. As such, their application is littered with claims of yield performance and apparent safety which cannot be corroborated.

The consultation process is not sufficiently long enough to enable full and meaningful public participation. The fact that the South African regulatory authorities have failed