Food Sovereignty Ghana

A grass-roots food advocacy movement of Ghanaians both home and abroad!

Unmasking the New Green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players and Dynamics

Here is the Introduction from the pdf document:

Unmasking the New Green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players and Dynamics published by the African Centre for Biosafety

This report came out in 2007. It is just as true today as then, although then there were no Africans at the top. Since then they have hired a number of Africans to serve as figureheads both regionally and locally, most notably Kofi Annan.


Unmasking the New Green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players and Dynamics

SINCE the late 1990s, the development discourse in Africa has been dominated by the mantra on the “New Green Revolution in Africa”. The call has been trumpeted by no less than the United Nations, hailed by governments in Africa and beyond, funded by moneyed private philanthropic foundations, and supported by agricultural transnational corporations. Like its predecessor in Asia half a century ago, the New Green Revolution in Africa is collectively being pushed by a myriad of players all claiming to be committed to Africa’s development.

Unsurprisingly, the push for a New Green Revolution in Africa is being led by the same players that pioneered the original concept in Asia, with new allies adding strength to the effort. The Rockefeller Foundation leads the pack, with the full support of the African arms of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an institution created by the Rockefeller Foundation to provide the scientific and technical backbone for the Green Revolution in Asia. Duplicating the example set in Asia, the Rockefeller Foundation’s admission into Africa is akin to that of a “Trojan horse” paving the way for entry by transnational agrochemical, fertilizer and agricultural biotechnology companies to peddle their wares.

As in Asia, the New Green Revolution in Africa has implications that go far beyond agriculture, its key platform. The development direction of Africa, currently dependent on subsistence agriculture, will be shaped by the processes and outcomes of this so-called revolution, as had happened in Asia five decades ago where the rural economy, social relations, agrarian policies and rural development were moulded by the first Green Revolution. Despite the “new” tag added to its name, the Green Revolution prescribed for Africa basically follows the same formula used in Asia – a technology package for agriculture involving the use of external inputs, massive agricultural infrastructure and modern seeds, but with a twist of genetically modified seeds added into the equation to respond to the environmental consequences caused by the old formula.

It is striking that none of those in the forefront of the revolution is African. No different from the colonial project in Africa, this new revolution is created and most ardently advocated by white men claiming to fight for the emancipation of Africans from the clutches of hunger and poverty.

This report provides an analysis of the key players promoting the New Green Revolution in Africa and the dynamics among them. It is hoped that by understanding the forces behind the push for this externally led development paradigm, African civil society would have a better handle on tackling the challenges ahead and on providing locally available, environmentally sustainable, socially acceptable and culturally sensitive alternatives based on equity and justice


The report lists the following:

Key principles -

a revolution defined and implemented by Africans: any solution to Africa’s problems must be defined, designed, formulated and implemented by Africans

smallholders and poor farmers as central actors: any “true” revolution must have the people as central and lead actors, not mere extras in a play scripted by outsiders

structural change is pivotal: strategic solutions to the problems in agriculture heavily depend on access to productive resources such as land

agriculture as a living system: solutions to agricultural problems should be viewed as an integrated whole, and as part of the agricultural knowledge systems of local farmers

food sovereignty and self-sufficiency is key: agricultural development projects must first and foremost address the challenges of food security at the household level, instead of being designed as market-oriented

harnessing Africa’s resources for Africans: Africa’s resources should be harnessed and developed to benefit the poor who constitute the majority of the population.

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