In News, Press Release

AFRICA’S LARGEST CIVIL SOCIETY NETWORK CALLS ON WESTERN GOVERNMENTS AND PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS TO STOP FUNDING INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA

Contacts: afsa@afsafrica.org for general inquiries about press event; contacts for interviews below.

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) does not speak for African small-scale farmers

  • What: Press conference denouncing failed African “green revolution” on the eve of major fundraising forum
  • When: Thursday 2 September, 5 p.m. Eastern Africa Time (10 a.m. ET/ 7 a.m. PT)
  • Who: Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and allied organizations

Register for the Sept. 2 press conference here: https://bit.ly/3BbJsuW

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with the zoom link.

African social movements are holding a press conference to demand that funding for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) be stopped. Their call is spelled out in a letter to be delivered next week during AGRA’s annual African Green Revolution Forum, which claims it will be a “single coordinated African voice” in advance of the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) represents more than 200 million farmers, fishers, pastoralists and indigenous peoples across Africa. Along with allies around the world, they are asking the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S., German, Dutch and Canadian governments, and other donors (full list below) to stop financing AGRA’s high-input, fossil fuel based industrial farming model that many experts say is worsening the ecological and hunger crises in Africa.

The international call to cease AGRA funding comes after AFSA wrote to AGRA donors in June to request evidence of the program’s success. AFSA received few replies and no credible evidence. Interfaith church leaders also wrote the Gates Foundation to request a change policies in Africa. They received no reply.

At the press conference, these groups will challenge the Alliance for a Green Revolution Forum’s claim to speak for Africans. A range of community leaders will discuss:

  • Recent academic research showing AGRA has failed to alleviate hunger or lift up small farmers despite raising more than $1 billion since 2006 on promises to do so — and despite billions in subsidies from African governments. Hunger has risen dramatically during the AGRA years.

  • Concerns about the top-down approach of AGRA and its funders, who have not consulted with or responded to African food, farming and faith groups;

  • The urgent need to shift support to African-led efforts to expand agroecology and other low-input, small-scale cultivation methods that increase the variety, nutritive value and quantity of foods produced while stabilizing rural economies, promoting gender equity and protecting biodiversity.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

  • Moderator, Anne Maina, national coordinator, Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya; anne.maina@bibakenya.org

  • Million Belay, PhD, general coordinator, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, million.belay@afsafrica.org

  • Francesca de Gasparis, executive director, Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute, francesca@safcei.org.za

  • Timothy Wise, senior advisor, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Tim.Wise@tufts.edu

  • Mariann Bassey-Orovwuje, coordinator Food Sovereignty Program, Friends of the Earth Africa, annybassi@yahoo.com

AGRA funders contacted by AFSA: Private foundations: Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Raikes Foundation; Corporate foundations: IKEA Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, Yara; Bilateral Donors: U.S. Agency for International Development; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (UK); Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany); Global Affairs Canada, International Development Research Centre (Canada); Kingdom of the Netherlands; the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

-END-

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