In 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was launched as a joint initiative of the Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. AGRA's primary goal is to alleviate poverty and reduce hunger in Africa through agricultural development that targets small-scale farmers.
Unfortunately, the Foundation promotes industrial farming, inappropriate technologies, and pro-corporate policies that threaten to make things worse for the hungry, small farmers, consumer health, and the environment in Africa. A handful of large-scale farmers and transnational agribusiness corporations, like Monsanto and Syngenta, may be the only real beneficiaries of AGRA. In the words of a representative of the Kenya Biodiversity Coalition, "AGRA is poison for our farming systems and livelihoods. Under the philanthropic banner of greening agriculture, AGRA will eventually eat away what little is left of sustainable small-scale farming in Africa."
Many farmers in Africa are calling for an alternative approach to sustaining their communities and land. "African farmers are seeking food sovereignty and not imposed unhealthy foods," says Kenyan biointensive farmer Samuel Nderitu. "Indigenous knowledge that has been embraced by farmers in Africa for decades has been farmer friendly, environmentally sound and humane, as opposed to modernized agriculture...African food is healthy and nutritious. We don't need GMOs!" Indeed, scientific studies show that small-scale sustainable agriculture has the potential to revitalize rural economies, mitigate climate change and its effects, restore and preserve the environment, eradicate poverty, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for all.
You can make a difference TODAY by pressuring the Gates Foundation to support real solutions to hunger, poverty, and climate change. Stand with civil society organizations, farmers, farmworkers, and farmer organizations, grassroots groups, health and consumer organizations, environmental groups, scientists, and academics in the US, Africa, and around the world in urging the Gates Foundation to support African solutions to African problems.
This petition is the companion to an organizational sign-on letter to the Foundation. Visit the AGRA Watch website to learn more!