Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an organization dealing with agricultural products in Africa. It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Rockefeller Foundation. Broadly, it deals with improving agricultural products and supporting local farm owners and labor.
The late Kofi Annan was on its board of directors; various other members are internationally eminent in fields such as agriculture, policy management or planning and coordination, such as its president since 2014, Agnes Kalibata.
AGRA's stated goals (for 2020) are:
- doubling the income of 20 million small farmers
- reducing food insecurity 50% in 20 countries
- ensuring that at least 15 countries are on a path toward sustainable and climate-friendly green agriculture
In an interview with This Is Africa, Jane Karuku, President of AGRA, explained their focus: “The first and most important thing is that we have to continue building on the capacity of Africans themselves to do agricultural research. That requires investment in scientists and in research institutions, which receive very little funding by government, so that we can breed more seed varieties that are high yielding and resistant to pests and diseases.”
- Development of disease-resistant strains of cassava. The genetically-engineered cassava are reportedly immune to cassava brown streak virus disease and the cassava common mosaic virus.
- PhD programs at universities in Ghana and South Africa
A "Voices From Africa" conference has suggested that AGRA was planned without African voices, and imposes quick-fix technological solutions on complex and historically deep social issues, that it will impose a regime in which farmers lose power over their own seeds and are forced to buy them back from large corporations year after year. This system may also contribute to the marginalization of women. The conference compiled a set of papers containing various arguments:
- The Foundation's plan for Africa involves the production of cash crops which can be sold on the global market. This may leave countries unable to produce food for themselves, and dependent on fluctuations in the global market.
- Some worry that AGRA will push genetic use restriction technology on African farmers, again leaving them dependent on outside companies for new seeds.
- Some critics have said that AGRA misrepresents Africa by cherry-picking spokespeople to support one viewpoint on genetically modified crops.
- Some technologies promoted by AGRA may create dependence on herbicides, which raises the possibility of super-weeds.
- Hunger in Africa results more from poverty than from actual food shortages; people will not be able to buy any additional food that gets produced without larger systemic changes.
Most of these papers call for local control and food sovereignty as an alternative.
Other sources, including the African Centre for Biosafety, Ecoterra Intl. and The Guardian, have reported that the Gates Foundation, allied with Monsanto and Cargill, plans to aggressively promote strains of genetically modified soy in Mozambique and beyond.
A conference titled "Living With the Gates Foundation" contained some criticism of Gates Foundation sponsorship. One author suggested that the foundation's influence on media and global health was so great it could chill almost all criticism.
As AGRA has reached its 2020 dead line of its target of doubling crop productivity (100% yield increase) and income of small scale farmers and halving the hunger ( 50% reduction in no. of hungry) ; it has utterly failed in its target.It is only Ethiopia one country whose productivity has increase 73% ( agains 100% target) and hunger reduced by 23% ( against 50%) .In togetherness of various countries productivity increase is 18% but hunger of small scale farmers is on the other hand has average increase of 30% against 50% reduction.
- "Strengthening Food Security: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)". Rockefeller Foundation. Archived from the original on 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Agnes Kalibata to Receive Public Welfare Medal – Academy's Most Prestigious Award". National Academy of Sciences. January 28, 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
- Conway, Gordon (31 May 2011). "Global food crisis: Towards a 'doubly green' world". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Interview: Jane Karuku, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa". This Is Africa. 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-24. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- "Good news for cassava as new varieties to combat deadly viral diseases are officially released in Tanzania". Newstime Africa. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Hultman, Tami (24 January 2012). "Africa: Aid Can Spur 'Historic Progress' - Bill Gates". AllAfrica. Retrieved 5 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Austin-Evelyn, Katherine (16 June 2011). "The 'keepers of seed': The impact of the 'Green Revolution' in Africa on female farmers". Consultancy Africa Intelligence. Retrieved 2 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Melissa Moore (2011). Anuradha Mittal (ed.). Voices From Africa (PDF). Oakland: Oakland Institute. Retrieved 2 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Programmed to kill". www.downtoearth.org.in. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
- Shiva, Vandana; Emani, Ashok; Jafri, Afsar H. (1999). "Globalisation and Threat to Seed Security: Case of Transgenic Cotton Trials in India". Economic and Political Weekly. 34 (10/11): 601–613. ISSN 0012-9976.
- Holt-Giménez, Eric. "Ten Reasons Why AGRA Will not Solve Poverty and Hunger in Africa" (PDF). foodfirst.org. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
- Vidal, John (29 September 2010). "Why is the Gates foundation investing in GM giant Monsanto?". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Ogden, Timothy (1 September 2011). "How much difference is it making?" (PDF). Alliance Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Africa's Choice: Africa's Green Revolution has Failed, Time to Change Course". www.iatp.org. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
- Timothy, A. Wise (July 2020). "False Promises : AGRA" (PDF). rosalux.de. Retrieved 23 February 2021.