“Back off, AGRA!” Civil society calls on donors to defund AGRA in Sept. press conference

On September 2, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) held a virtual press conference calling on donors to defund the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), leading up to AGRA’s African Green Revolution Forum. Speakers also called on the Gates Foundation and other AGRA donors to respond to letters AFSA first sent to donors in June

During the press conference, AFSA General Coordinator Million Belay contrasted two opposed agricultural visions: the Green Revolution model of industrial agriculture, and the agroecological alternatives demanded by AFSA and the hundreds of millions of small-scale food producers its 35 member organizations represent.

Importantly, AFSA and allied organizations want to see continued donor commitments to African agriculture, but in models that do not force African producers into industrial, chemical-intensive systems. Instead, they are demanding investments that are “democratic and responsive to the people at the heart of agriculture, not … a top-down force that ends up concentrating power and profit into the hands of a small number of multinational companies.” As ​​Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje of Friends of the Earth Africa stated during the press conference: “If a fraction of the billions of dollars that has passed through the coffers of AGRA had been given to an actual small-scale farmer who actually feed us, we would have healthy, nutritious, diverse food and enough food to feed our continent.”

On the failures of AGRA and industrial agriculture to provide resilience to climate change, watch Francesca de Gasparis’ comments:


The press conference and AFSA’s subsequent release of an international sign-on letter directed at the Gates Foundation have garnered significant media attention and coverage:

Posted in Agra Watch Blog Posts, Agra Watch News, News, Slider.

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