Quote; "This article is drawn from a presentation by Mariam Mayet and edited by Simone Adler. It is the second article in a series which features interviews with grassroots African leaders working for seed and food sovereignty, the decolonization of Africa's food system, and the preservation of traditional farming practices.
Our farmer-managed seed systems in Africa are being criminalized and displaced by a very aggressive green revolution
project of corporate occupation by big multinational companies. This
violent agrarian transformation is facing profound objection. African
farmer organizations are outraged because decisions have been made and
imposed on us in a very patronizing, patriarchal way, as if the agrarian
vision and solution has been designed for us.
The Gates Foundation is funding the green revolution, along with the many governments linked to the old hub of capitalism,
including your government [the US], the UK and the Netherlands. It is
working in very close partnership with around 80 African seed companies.
The Gates Foundation is the kingpin in charge of coordinating the various green revolution initiatives taking place in Africa.
The green revolution projects are a very expensive technological
package for farmers to buy into. Tens of millions of small-scale,
resource-poor farmers cannot afford the high costs of inputs unless
they're subsidized by our governments or your taxpayer money. This money
goes into the public purse and out to agribusiness such as Monsanto and
Pioneer Hi-Bred for hybrid or improved seed and agrochemicals.
Investment has become a euphemism for land grabs, disposition, and
dislocation of our communities. We've already seen the beginnings of
corporate control and concentration of our seed sector. Monsanto and
Pioneer Hi Bred, both US multinational companies, control most of the
hybrid maize market in southern Africa. Through the acquisition of South
Africa's maize company, Panaar Seed, by Pioneer HiBred, hybrid pioneer
[seeds] will make a lot of incursions [elsewhere] into Africa.
We see and fear a great deal of social dislocation, of collapse of
our farming systems - and it's already happened. In
industrialized-agriculture countries like South Africa, farmers have
become completely deskilled and divorced from production decisions,
which are made in laboratories or in far-away board rooms.
genetically engineered banana project*.
Their idea is to enable Ugandans and other east Africans to access
vitamin A by commercially growing a banana genetically engineered to
produce beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, as if a
diverse diet won't give Africans this vitamin. Ugandans grow around 27
varieties or more of bananas. So this super banana project is a Trojan
horse; it's very similar to the golden rice they've been trying to commercialize since the mid-80s, which has gone nowhere after a huge expenditure of money. They've even started the process of feeding trials of the GM banana to US citizens at Iowa State University. It's a way to capture the commercial markets and pry open countries that are closed to GMOs, like Uganda.
The likes of Gates revile peasant farming systems as backward and
responsible for poverty and starvation in Africa. It's as if there's a
concerted effort to make these systems obsolete, to do away with them.
They're ugly, they have to go, and they have to go now. But 80 percent
of our population live in rural areas and about 70 percent of income is
generated from agriculture, so what is going to happen when they empty
out our rural areas? Where are all these people going to go?
*Quote; "The documentary also interviews children and teachers in a special needs
school who are being impacted on a daily basis by airborn particles and
droplets from planes spraying the entire area within which the school
is situated, the monoculture having become completely dominant. It is
undoubtedly the case that the major proportion of the children whose
needs the school caters for developed their conditions (either in the womb or as an infant -or both-), as a direct result of exposure to the chemicals with which they continue to be poisoned!" From; "Democracy Gone: "Bananas; Blood, Bullets and Poison"" Go to: http://gkhales.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/democracy-gone-bananas-blood-bullets.html
Also see; "Integrating Conventional and Traditional Medicine in Africa (Cameroon -and Kalahari-)" Go to: http://gkhales.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/integrating-conventional-and.html