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The Battle for the Future of Food in Africa

Certain policies, strongly promoted by the Gates Foundation, open Africa to the multinational seed companies in the name of modernization, but they undermine climate resilience and food security for Africa’s small-scale farmers.

Originally Published on Common Dreams, November 1, 2019

Last month in Ghana, Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, congratulated an illustrious group of corporate and government leaders for “leapfrogging into the future” in their efforts to “modernize” African agriculture with high-yield commercial seeds, fertilizers, and other technologies.

Unfortunately, such policies are leapfrogging right over Africa’s small-scale farmers. We have seen no such progress on the ground in Africa. Not only are these policies failing to address chronic rural poverty and hunger, they are doing little to improve nutrition, health, and climate resilience.

African farmers have a better idea, grounded in their own experiences and their increasing struggles to grow food in the face of a changing climate. Ecological agriculture, using fewer, not more, chemical inputs, is showing the way forward, as scientists help farmers reduce costs, increase soil fertility, raise more diverse, healthy, and culturally appropriate food crops, and adapt their farms to climate change.