AGRA Watch is a grassroots, Seattle-based group challenging the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s questionable agricultural programs in Africa, including its Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The Gates Foundation and AGRA claim to be “pro-poor” and “pro-environment,” but their approach is closely aligned with transnational corporations, such as Monsanto, and foreign policy actors like USAID. They take advantage of food and global climate crises to promote high-tech, market-based, industrial agriculture and generate profits for corporations even while degrading the environment and dis-empowering farmers. Their programs are a form of philanthrocapitalism based on biopiracy.
On Oct 10-14, 2014 Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch invited African leaders from six nations representing regional and continent-wide networks to Seattle to meet with leaders from over a dozen US organizations as part of the Africa-US Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit. The aim of the Summit was to promote farmer-led solutions to hunger and climate crises, share research, develop strategies and explore ways to protect communities faced with the consequences of industrial agriculture as promoted by the Gates Foundation.
On October 12th, summit participants took part in a major public event at Town Hall Seattle to voice their concerns.
We are brought together by a shared belief in just, sustainable and equitable food for all. We share a concern over the dangerous loss of agricultural biodiversity and of the loss of dignified and viable livelihoods in the countryside.
In great appreciation of the wisdom we each shared coming from our diverse cultures, struggles and experiences that are all a reflection of our shared humanity:
We stand together against the corporate control of our food systems, the lack of accountability of global institutions like the G8 New Alliance For Food Security and Nutrition, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the United States (US) government’s Feed the Future Initiative, the Grow Africa Partnership, the Gates Foundation and its Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and others, that are forcing their policies and institutions upon the farmers of the world to open up markets and create spaces for multinationals to secure profits; against the monopolization of our seeds that criminalizes the historical farm practices of saving, sharing, selling and exchanging seeds; against the displacement and dispossession of small-scale farm producers and workers from their lands; against the new Green Revolution, the global Free Trade Agreements, “climate-smart agriculture” and “sustainable intensification”.
We pledge solidarity with the struggles of each of our organizations and with the global food sovereignty movement, and will work in mutual support to amplify the voices of the people on the ground fighting for food sovereignty, share information with the general public about food sovereignty and agro-ecology, and expose the myths underlying the false idea that corporate agriculture is necessary to “feed the world.”
African Centre for Biosafety
Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch
Community to Community Development
Family Farm Defenders
Friends of the Earth—Africa
Food & Water Watch
Growth Partners Africa
International Development Exchange (IDEX)
Kenya Food Rights Alliance (KeFRA)
National Family Farm Coalition
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign
Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
Rural Women’s Assembly (Southern Africa)
Surplus People Project
Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)
Vandana Shiva and The New Yorker | 10/01/2014
“Stop the Spread of Transgenes” | 07/11/2014
“The Importance of Criticizing Philanthropy” | 06/09/2014