U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Rajiv Shah has announced U.S. support for an industrial agribusiness plan to increase food security in the developing world.
The corporations that are backing this plan are only looking to export the industrial, centralized food empire to third world countries in order to make more money. They include the likes of Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Wal-Mart.
To really fight world hunger, we need to focus on developing local food systems, not lining the pockets of big corporations by trying to push an environmentally destructive idustrial model into even more areas.
Taxpayer Funds are already being used to fund this plan through the Obama Administration's Feed the Future initiative. Tell the Director of USAID that our money should not be spent on lining corporate pockets. Instead USAID needs to do real research and promote sustainable agricultural methods that really can feed the world.
Photo: Dan Davison via Flickr
The seventeen companies that are behind this plan have an abysmal record of environmental destruction, human rights violation, and the pursuit of profits at the expense of all else. This plan is an obvious attempt by these companies to expand their markets into the developing world, motivated by profit, not benevolence, and I am at a loss to understand why the U.S. government should be using my money to support such an obvious ploy.
Time and time again organizations like the Rodale Institute have demonstrated that organic, sustainable methods can produce the same yields that industrial agriculture can, but without the devastating environmental and human costs. If USAID wants to promote real solutions to world hunger, it needs to focus on developing these kinds of sustainable agricultural to support local food economies, not "modern," industrialized systems that do far more to line corporate pockets than to feed the suffering poor.
Please do not use U.S. "Feed the Future" initiative funds, nor any other taxpayer money, to fund corporate solutions that have been proven time and time again to do far more harm than good. Do not support this "New Visions for Agriculture" plan. Instead, I hope USAID will invest in developing realistic agricultural solutions that heal the land and provide a sustainable source of edible food in developing countries, not commodity crops that make money for U.S. corporate interests.