Maybe not the most obvious choice but the name piqued my interest. I suspect it won't be the only time we see The Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation popping up as significant donors and I will delve deeper into both at a later date.
"Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an organization dealing with agricultural products in Africa. It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Rockefeller Foundation."
http://archive.is/9B0yI <wikipedia> http://archive.is/dkk8I <gatesfoundation> http://archive.is/oGe3v <rockefellerfoundation>
A "Voices From Africa" conference has suggested that AGRA was planned without African voices, and imposes quick-fix technological solutions on complex and historically deep social issues, that it will impose 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.The conference compiled a set of papers containing various arguments:
The Foundation's plan for Africa involves the production of cash crops which can be sold on the global market. This may leave countries unable to produce food for themselves, and dependent on fluctuations in the global market.
Some worry that AGRA will push genetic use restriction technology on African farmers, again leaving them dependent on outside companies for new seeds.
Some critics have said that AGRA misrepresents Africa by cherry-picking spokespeople to support one viewpoint on genetically modified crops.
Some technologies promoted by AGRA may create dependence on herbicides, which raises the possibility of super-weeds.
Hunger in Africa results more from poverty than from actual food shortages; people will not be able to buy any additional food that gets produced without larger systemic changes.
Most of these papers call for local control and food sovereignty as an alternative.
Other sources, including the African Centre for Biosafety, Ecoterra Intl. and The Guardian, have reported that the Gates Foundation, allied with Monsanto and Cargill, plans to aggressively promote strains of genetically modified soy in Mozambique and beyond.
A conference titled "Living With the Gates Foundation" contained some criticism of Gates Foundation sponsorship. One author suggested that the foundation's influence on media and global health was so great it could chill almost all criticism.The above-cited Guardian article, for example, is written by the Director of Agriculture for Impact, a separate Gates-funded endeavor. And the blog series of which the article is a part sports a "Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" graphic in the top right corner of its page.