Critics: AGRA Billions Funding Food Insecurity in Africa
By Giza Mdoe
There are concerns, fears and anger that AGRA billions funding food insecurity in Africa, discounting claims of AGRA empowering 30 million smallholder farmer households.
AGRA, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, is a multimillion-dollar agriculture project funded by the Bill Gates Foundation in Tanzania, just like in many other African countries where it operates.
Now critics want the funders to pull the plug, why?
AGRA was created in 2006 to bring about a green revolution to several African countries by developing their agricultural corridors. However, AGRA critics allege that the organisation has ‘fooled’ donors with over-ambitious goals like claims to ‘double the yields and incomes of 30 million smallholder households in 11 countries by the end of 2021.’ They say that AGRA billions funding food insecurity in Africa is in contrast to what the entity promises and presents as success.
Well, one year after the deadline, little to no progress has been achieved; in fact, the exact opposite is true; food insecurity has only worsened in almost all countries where AGRA operates despite millions of dollars in funding from the Bill Gates Foundation and other donors.
‘Studies show that since AGRA’s founding, food insecurity increased by 31% in the countries in which AGRA operates.’
This fact stands despite the millions of dollars given to AGRA annually by large organizations like the Bill Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, USAID and the governments of the UK and Germany, to mention a few.
According to the Oakland Institute, even AGRA’s creation was planned without African voices, and imposes quick-fix technological solutions….’
Worse still, the institute points to a much deeper conspiracy to force the 30 million smallholder farmer households to buy agro-inputs from large corporations. In its report, the Oakland Institute says AGRA ‘imposes a regime in which farmers lose power over their own seeds and are forced to buy them back from large corporations year after year.’
“This system may also contribute to the marginalization of women. 9 million smallholder farmer households, who are witnessing increased food insecurity through AGRA’s direct interventions,” reads the report in part.