What does AGRA Watch support?
AGRA Watch supports African initiatives and programs that foster farmers’ self-determination and food sovereignty. AGRA Watch also supports public engagement in fighting genetic engineering and exploitative agricultural policies, and demands transparency and accountability on the part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and AGRA.
Our campaign objectives are to:
1. Create a thriving global network of farmers, activists and scholars that a) shares knowledge about the impacts of AGRA and the BMGF in Africa, and tracks their impacts and b) shares information about sustainable practices that are alternatives to industrial models in Africa.
2. Expose and challenge the dominant development ideology that the BMGF practices and promotes.
3. Provide support and facilitate mutual exchange of information and experiences concerning sustainable and healthy agriculture policies and practices.
4. Build membership in AGRA Watch and mobilize support for the campaign around the region, throughout the US, and across the globe.
How does AGRA Watch pursue its objectives?
AGRA Watch aspires to form strong relationships with organizations and individuals already promoting alternatives in African communities. We aim to develop a campaign strategy that builds off of and supports the experiences of these groups. Throughout this process, we plan to educate ourselves and the public through outreach, teach-ins, and forums, which we hope will facilitate a public understanding of the role of the BMGF, the problems with AGRA, and the potential of movements for global food security and sovereignty.
Learn more about AGRA Watch by downloading our brochure: AGRA Watch Brochure [pdf]
View our latest work: Countering_Corporate_Propaganda_About_GMO
AGRA Watch in the news!
Seattle-led coalition tells Gates Foundation to change approach: Seattle Times’ Business of Giving Blog, (Dec. 8th, 2010)
Local activists challenge Gates Foundation’s agricultural development strategy: KPLU’s Humanosphere (Dec. 7th, 2010)
“Why is the Gates Foundation investing in Monsanto?“: in the Guardian “Poverty Matters” Blog (Sept. 29, 2010)
CAGJ’s Director Heather Day and AGRA Watch research Travis English traveled to Kenya in February 2010 to learn about the so-called new green revolution in Africa, to research AGRA, and to meet with farmers pursuing alternatives. read their 10/4/10 article published online in Yes! Magazine: “In Kenya, Farmers Grow Their Own Way: Thousands of grassroots, African-led efforts are building locally rooted alternatives to the chemical agriculture promoted by the Gates Foundation and Monsanto.”
Research conducted by AGRA watch members Travis English and Paige Miller is cited in The Nation article, Ending Africa’s Hunger, by Raj Patel, Eric Holt-Gimenez and Annie Shattuck. This article was part of the September 21 edition of the Nation, “Food for All: How to Grow Democracy”.
Agra Watch co-chair Bill Aal gets rave reception at Northern Arizona University (April 16, 2009)
Local group challenges Gates Foundation on agriculture: Kristi Heim in Seattle Times’ Business of Giving Blog (March 23, 2009)
Gate Foundation takes on a partner in new venture: Sandi Doughton in the Seattle Times (March 31, 2009)
Additional Resources from AGRA Watch:
Countering_Corporate_Propaganda_About_GMO‘s: An AGRA Watch Resource:
Many opinions are being put forward about the best way to address food security and food sovereignty for people in Africa. As we have watched extravagant claims about the efficacy of GMO technology for this problem— made by Industry( Monsanto, ADM, Bayer, etc), Government (USDA, US State Department, and USAID, etc) and Philanthropy ( Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)– we have noticed mounting evidence that the claims made for it are not supported on environmental, economic, and social grounds. We decided to put together the best research and analysis that we could find which documents these failures. We have included materials in an Introduction and Appendix to provide context for users who may not already know a great deal about GMOs.
From AGRA Watch’s workshop “Exploiting the Politics of ‘Need’: AGRA & the Gates Foundation,” at the People’s Summit, Seattle – Nov. 28th, 2009:
“Bigwig” Excerpts – quotes from powerful philanthropists, corporations, politicians, and intergovernmental bodies on African agriculture
Advocate/Activist Excerpts – quotes from African civil society organizations, farmers, scholars from the US and Africa, advocates, activists, and allies on African demands, realities, and rights.
Learn more about AGRA
from CAGJ Authors:
Looking in a Gift Horse’s Mouth: “The persistence of food crises and food price volatility has spawned some false solutions. The most notable of these is the ‘New Green Revolution for Africa’, launched by the philanthropic foundation established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. As Philip L Bereano and Travis M English reveal, this revolution may not be so green after all.” Third World Resurgence Network, No. 240/241, August-September 2010, pp 44-48
Academic Research: “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Fund Distribution: Gates Foundation Links to Monsanto & GE Crops Development in Kenya” [DRAFT]
AGRA Watch Position Paper: ” Standing Up for Food Sovereignty: AGRA Watch Position Paper on Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act, Genetic Engineering, and the Gates Foundation” May 18th, 2010 [PDF]
Download CAGJ’s Map of AGRA Grantee Countries [PDF]
CAGJ Research cited in The Nation
Voices From Africa – African Farmers And Environmentalists Speak Out Against A New Green Revolution In Africa. Edited by Anuradha Mittal with Melissa Moore. Published March 2009. 40 pages [PDF]
A New Green Revolution for Africa? – “This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven’t worked before and why AGRA won’t work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.” Written by GRAIN, published November 2007. 7 pages [PDF]
Unmasking the New Green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players, and Dynamics – by Elenita c. Daño. 67 pages [PDF]
How Healthy for Africans is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)? – by Prof. Carol Thompson, Northern Arizona University. 3 pages [PDF]
Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa – Food First Policy Brief No. 12, by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Ph.D., Miguel A. Altieri, Ph.D., and Peter Rosset, Ph.D., published October 2006. 11 pages [PDF]
Hungry or not, don’t force GM down our throats, by Anuradha Mittal, The East African. Published March 21, 2009.
Ten Reasons Why Biotechnology Will Not Ensure Food Security, Protect The Environment, And Reduce Poverty In The Developing World, by Miguel A. Altieri and Peter Rosset, AgBioForum.
The heat is on Bill Gates – He now works to solve humanity’s greatest problems with his foundation — yet has no program to curb global warming. That does not compute. By Joseph Romm, Salon.com. Published March 9, 2009.
Organic farming beats genetically engineered corn as response to rising global temperatures – Meredith Niles, Grist Magazine. Published Jan. 16th, 2009.
Let Them Eat Cash: Can Bill Gates Turn Hunger into Profit? -by Frederick Kaufman, Harper’s Magazine June 2009. [pdf]
For further reading, please see the following document “Introductory Bibliography: The Green Revolution Debates 1970-2007″
Past AGRA Watch activities:
AGRA Watch Film Nights, to view and discuss films about issues central to our work: sustainable agricultural production in Africa, resistance to corporate globalization, global food production and distribution, and the roles of women. We hope that these films will help us think about the actions we can take locally that fulfill CAGJ’s campaign of “Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere.”
Please bring your thoughts, ideas, and interests, as well as some food or drink to share! And please RSVP at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming films: Friday October 29th, 7 – 10 PM: AGRA Watch Film Night & CAGJ Fundraiser! The World According to Monsanto, at Southside Commons, 3518 S Edmunds Street in Columbia City, Seattle. $5 – $20 sliding scale donation; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Saturday November 20th, 5 – 8 PM: The Price of Aid – Location TBD, Free.
Past films: Sweet Crude, Darwin’s Nightmare, Faat Kine, Black Gold, We Feed the World