Four Categories of Problems with AGRA

Political

• uses tax-exempt foundation money to act without accountability
• uses influence to monopolize discussions of development and agriculture
• promotes solutions decided upon undemocratically, by people whose authority has not been conferred by the populace and whose frame of reference is the Global North
• frames the problem as African production, rather than global distribution

Social

• privileges large-scale farmers/landholders
• encourages the purchase of inputs from foreign companies, leading to indebtedness
• intensifies reliance on volatile global economy
• does not address structural and social inequalities
• has the potential to exacerbate women’s poverty in integrated cash economies

Environmental

• encourages higher intensity of cultivation and monocropping, which decreases biodiversity and undermines indigenous crops
• potential for GE crops to be introduced and contaminate surrounding crops
• is uncritical of the first Green Revolution and does not acknowledge that its priniciples were introduced in some countries in Africa, and failed

Ethical

• privileges/asserts Western knowledge systems
• limits self-determination among farmers in Africa
• receives funding from foundations whose wealth is rooted in the maintenance of unequal global distribution
• promotes a racist model of development in which African producers are targets of Western conceptions of linear “progress”
• devalues the systems and knowledge of local peoples and precludes reciprocity and mutuality in exchanging ideas

Posted in Agra Watch Blog Posts.

One Comment

  1. THANK YOU,THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    It is high time someone challenged the reductionist and biased approaches to grant making for AG by large foundations. like Gates–I hope others will follow.

    How do these big foundations shape their thinking on the subject? Who do they listen to, and who do they NOT listen to?
    I also hope they create advisory committees of people who have already done their research homework and who can advise the, at the very least, where to look for evidence.

    And what a lame response from the Gates spokesperson “no one has a silver bullet”. As if the cliche can obscure the fact the we already know what doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work here, how can it possibly work in Africa?

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