In a new detailed report evaluating results country-by-country, the reality of the Gates Africa agriculture project shows alarming, but not surprising, results. The report is called False Promises: The Green Revolution in Africa. It was prepared by a group of African and European NGO’S in collaboration with Timothy A. Wise, Senior Advisor at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy of Tufts University. The report concluded, “yield increases for key staple crops in the years before AGRA were just as low as during AGRA. Instead of halving hunger, the situation in the 13 focus countries has worsened since AGRA was launched. The number of people going hungry has increased by 30 percent during the AGRA years… affecting 130 million people in the 13 AGRA focus countries.” That is no minor failure.
The Re-Colonization of Africa by Agribusiness
In an approach that is little different from the 19th Century racist European colonial practices, the Gates Foundation and its AGRA have seriously harmed small-scale food producers by subjecting them to high levels of debt. In Zambia and Tanzania, small-scale food producers were unable to repay the loans for fertilizer and hybrid seeds after the first harvest. AGRA projects also restrict the freedom of choice for small-scale food producers to decide for themselves what they want to grow. AGRA forces them to a one-sided cultivation of mainly maize for export markets, what global agribusiness wants. Not surprising as Bunge and other international grain cartel companies are involved with AGRA. Traditional climate-resistant and nutrient-rich crops have declined in alarming degrees in many cases.
The study found that for millet, an indigenous and vital cereal and fodder grain favored for 7,000 years due to its productivity and short growing season under dry, high-temperature conditions, AGRA has produced disaster. The report notes,“millet production fell by 24 percent in the 13 AGRA focus countries from 2006 to 2018. Moreover, AGRA lobbies governments on behalf of agricultural corporations to pass legislation that will benefit fertilizer producers and seed companies instead of strengthening small-scale food production.”