«Green Revolution in Africa August 2009 Report Contributions: Sam Moyo, Walter Chambati, Tendai Murisa and Amade Sucá TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. ...»
• Fund research on the potential impacts of GMOs vis-à-vis conventional breeding and household seed banks in Africa and advise African countries on the negative consequences of adopting GMOs.
• Support governments to introduce effective national environmental regulations and mitigation strategies to limit environmental damage caused by chemical inputs.
• Conduct research on the benefits of reviving parastatals which guarantee agricultural markets and prices above the costs of production for smallholder surplus production, extend affordable credit to farmers and maintain strategic food reserves.
• Support the establishment of a farmers’ platform for monitoring and evaluating progress towards the achievement of sustainable agriculture.
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Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa P a g e | 25 Holt-Gimenez E., Miguel A. and Rosset P. (2006). ‘Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will not Save the Problems Of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa.’ Food First Policy Brief No.12.
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1 The Food First (Gimenez et al, 2006) were one of the first ones to respond to AGRA, in a ten point policy brief, and many civil society responses repeat their arguments, and to date no evaluation of AGRA has been published.
2 st The White Paper entitled, Africa’s Turn; the Green Revolution for the 21 Century (2006). It broadly defines Africa’s agricultural and poverty challenge and a cocktail of interventions necessary to address the constraints. During 2006 it launched a number of programmes such as the programme on improved varieties for Africa, and also helped training of post-graduate studies on crop and plant breeding. The Foundation also helped in the training of local merchants in the basics of retailing farm supplies and in the process cultivating a new market sector that strengthens both small retailers and small farmers. In the course of 2006 the Rockefeller Foundation entered into an agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa 3 In January 2008 AGRA funded the establishment of the Western African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana. This project is funded to the tune of USD$4.9million and seeks to train 40 students, for a period of five years (Grain, 2007).
4 The Rockefeller Foundation is the second largest philanthropic organisation. The bulk of the foundation’s wealth comes from the Rockefeller family’s endowment in the form of substantial shares. The foundation was involved in the first green revolution in Asia and has since invested about USD$150 million to establish a beachhead for bringing the green revolution. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is currently the world’s richest charity with over USD$60billion in funds.
5 Two telecom entrepreneurs; one from South Africa and another from Zimbabwe, a former minister of finance for Benin and a former Managing Director of the World Bank from South Africa, a former World Food prize winner recipient from Ghana and one of the architects of the MDGs who is also an academic at Wageningen University.
6 (see Moyo, 2001; Muir, 2004; Holt-Gimenez, Altieri and Rosset, 2006; Forum for Environment and Development, 2007; Mayet, 2007) 7 For example, in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast. (Lasstaria-Cornhiel and Melmed-Sanjak, 1999;
Amanor, 2008) 8 In Zimbabwe, between 1974 and 1984 about 100,000 jobs were lost in the large scale commercial farming due to capital intensification (Loewenson, 1992). Similar trends were experienced in Kenya, where tractorisation and heavy duty machines during the 1980s, replaced techniques such as ox-drawn ploughs and hand tools (Nkurunziza, 2007).
Whilst large capital equipment was exempted from import duty and sales taxes, hand tools and ploughs were subject to high import duties and placed in the most restrictive import category (Nkurunziza, 2007).
9 Even some public faces in AGRA have a long association with biotechnology and genetic engineering research. For instance Robert Horsch, the Global Development Officer in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was a former employee of Monsanto, where he was employed for more than 25 years (Mayet, 2007).
10 Statement from African Civil Society Organisations at the World Social Forum, 2007.
11 Aid flows to Africa declined from USD$32 per capita in 1990 to USD$18 per capita in 1998 (Wolfehsohn, 2001), whilst external debt surged in most countries (see World Bank, 2001) 12 For instance Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta controlled 46 percent of the total proprietary seed market in the world (ETC Group, 2007) indicating the level of concentration in global input markets.
13 There is no evidence of wide consultation within Africa in the authoring of the White Paper and also in designing AGRA related programmes.
14 See for instance report from a Regional Food Sovereignty Workshop convened by TCOE in Windhoek, April, 2008 15 Seventy percent of African exports are destined for Northern Europe, North America or Japan (WTO cited in Oxfam, 2002) and thus heavily exposed to unfair trade practices.
16 Zimbabwe’s fertiliser industry while catering for some SADC countries a toll manufacturing basis, is unable to supply national needs, let alone regional ones, and requires resuscitation.
17 The Programme for Africa’s Seeds Systems (PASS) also includes the Agro-Dealer Development Programme and the Education for African Crop Improvement (EACI).
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