Critics of Bill Gates’ ‘industrial ag’ efforts in Africa take their case to Seattle

Screen Shot at AM

In Kenya, where he works with small farmers, Daniel Maingi “failed miserably” in his attempts to connect with agricultural organizations funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

So he and fellow African activists from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia are bringing their message to Seattle, headquarters of the world’s richest philanthropy. At a Town Hall event, The Global Struggle for Food Sovereignty, argued that the foundation’s push for a “Green Revolution” in Africa is a flawed attempt to impose industrial agriculture at the expense of more ecologically sound approaches to farming.

Some of the visitors, including Maingi, will meet with staff at the Gates Foundation. But it won’t be the high-level gathering he had hoped for. “At least we tried,” Maingi said.

The Gates Foundation spends nearly $400 million a year on programs to improve production and income for African farmers. Since 2006, the foundation has funneled nearly $420 million to its flagship agricultural initiative, a collaboration called the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA. But the foundation’s outsized spending and influence have raised concerns in Africa, just as some American educators have become alarmed over the foundation’s influence on the U.S. education system.

Related article:  Anti-GMO activist 'ecologists' destroy GM eucalyptus seedlings in Brazil

Elizabeth Mpofu, of La Via Campesina, grows a variety of crops in Zimbabwe. During a recent drought, neighbors who relied on chemical fertilizer lost most of their crops, while she reaped a bounty of sorghum, corn and millet using what are called agroecological methods — natural pest control, organic fertilizer and locally adapted crops.

If she had 10 minutes with Bill Gates, Mpofu said, she would tell him about her farm and the power of agroecology.

“Maybe because we are a group from Africa, we can leave them with some new thinking,” she said, “some ideas for reviewing the way they work.”

Read full, original article: Critics of Gates’ ag programs bring the battle to Seattle

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend