The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has released a comprehensive critique of a report published by the African Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA): African Agriculture Status Report 2013.
The critique reveals that AGRA’s vision is premised on Public Private Partnerships in which African governments will shoulder the cost and burden of developing regulatory procedures and infrastructure
to enable private agribusiness to profit from new African agriculture markets.
The introduction of privately owned seed bred to perform in conjunction with chemical fertilisers and agrochemicals is a particularly vexing aspect of this plan. It is of grave concern that AGRA will lend their weight to new laws that are being drafted across the continent to regulate the certification, registration and ownership of seed and agricultural germplasm. Such laws will enable private breeders to commercialise new varieties, many bred from African germplasm, while at the same time restricting or even criminalising age-old farmer practice of saving, recycling, sharing and trading seed. Such laws do not recognise African ingenuity, which has bred an abundance of African agricultural biodiversity.
AGRA’s shunning of agro-ecology is not surprising, given that their model of agriculture is based on the commoditisation of agriculture. The majority of African farmers are currently producing food without
chemical inputs or improved seed. These systems could be greatly enhanced with the assistance from the research community, government institutions and other service organisations. Green Revolution “solutions” are drawing funding and other important resources away from more appropriate solutions, to the benefit of agribusiness. Indeed, it is standing in the way of such solutions.
Download the report from the ACBio website: