“Among other things, we might simply not agree
Africans have long been told that our agriculture is backward and should be abandoned for a 21st-century version of the Green Revolution that enabled India to feed itself. Western science and technology, in the form of seeds modified by science and technology, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, petroleum-fueled machinery and artificial irrigation were key to that miracle, we are informed, and we too need to tread that path.
A primary proponent of this view is the Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS), founded in 2014 to “depolarize the charged debate” around genetically modified (GM) seeds. With $22 million in funding thus far from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the CAS in fact consistently defends GM seeds, arguing that they are healthy, productive and environmentally friendly, while attacking agroecology as economically and socially regressive.
In contrast, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), which represents more than 200 million farmers, fishers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, women, consumers and others across all but five African countries, holds that agroecology is what our continent needs. Small-scale, ecofriendly cultivation methods using indigenous knowledge and inputs and cutting-edge science increase the variety, nutritive value and quantity of foods produced on farms while stabilizing rural economies, promoting gender equity and protecting biodiversity.”
Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
The Alliance For Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is a Pan African platform representing small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, citizens and environmentalists from Africa who possess a strong voice that shapes policy on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge and knowledge systems, the environment and natural resource management.
AFSA is championing Small African Family Farming/Production Systems based on agro-ecological and indigenous approaches, that sustain food sovereignty and the livelihoods of communities. AFSA is also resisting the corporate industrialisation of African agriculture which will result in massive land grabbing, destruction of indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems, displacement of indigenous peoples especially the pastoral communities and hunter gatherers and the destruction of their livelihoods and cultures.
For more information about AFSAS, please visit their website www.afsafrica.org
A few excerpts, but also worthy of reading entirely:
“Last month, Bill Gates’ divorce and allegations of sexual misconduct made headlines in Western media. But in India, the billionaire philanthropist and his foundation have been under criticism for months for completely different reasons. Indians have called for Gates’ arrest over alleged violations of medical ethics and laws by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in the country. #ArrestBillGates trended on Indian Twitter in May, part of a campaign calling Indian authorities to charge the BMGF and Gates for conducting illegal medical trials on vulnerable groups in two Indian states.
This is not the first time the BMGF or Bill Gates has been at the receiving end of public anger in India. This latest outburst is part of constantly growing anger against Gates and his foundation in India. As early as April 2021, Gates received flak for expressing his reluctance about sharing COVID-19 vaccine technologies with developing countries like India. After severe public criticism in India and abroad, BMGF Chief Executive Officer Mark Suzman officially supported a temporary waiver on vaccine IP.
Gates has also been criticized by Indian farmer groups, who have been protesting on the border of the national capital New Delhi for six months. The farmers are protesting against controversial laws promoting privatization of agriculture passed by the Hindu nationalist government, and they see Gates as a supporter of such efforts. Dainik Jagran, one of the largest Hindi newspapers in the country, reported on June 8 that farmers burned an effigy of Bill Gates at one of the protest sites due to his support for the privatization of agriculture in India.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)