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Second Green Revolution

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The Second Green Revolution is an effort to invest in increasing food production in poor countries via crop breeding (using genetic engineering), irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. Calls for a second Green Revolution began only a decade after the original Green Revolution ended, and emphasized that a second Green Revolution would include genetic engineering almost from the start.[1] However, calls for a second Green Revolution did not truly begin picking up steam until the early 2000s.

As early as 2005, Africa was identified as the focus of the second Green Revolution.[2] The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation formed the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2006,[3] and Kofi Annan became its leader in 2007. [4] The second Green Revolution is the same as the original, in that it began as with efforts by the Rockefeller Foundation and the U.S. government soon followed suit, and that it involves the transfer of unsustainable U.S. industrial agriculture techniques and inputs to poor countries. However, it is different in that it focuses on increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers and on women farmers. (The original Green Revolution mostly benefited large, wealthy farmers.)

Timeline

1980s

1980: The U.S. Supreme Court issued its Chakrabarty Decision, making it legal to patent a genetically modified organism.

1981:

  • First call for a Second Green Revolution by Peter Steinhart in the New York Times.[5] He says, "genetic engineering in plants might eventually live up to the hopes of molecular biologists, corporate conglomerates and world-hunger specialists - and dispel the doubts of traditionalists and skeptics." Steinhart continues, promising: "Researchers at the nation's dozen university and private laboratories working in plant genetics talk excitedly of new plants that will be resistant to disease, plants that will be able to survive drought, plants capable of growing without fertilizers or pesticides and even plants that can substitute for oil. It would be the second agricultural revolution of our time."

1983: First genetic engineering patent applications are submitted.[7]

1985: Japanese "octogenarian racing-boat magnate and philanthropist" Ryoicho Sasakawa and Norman Borlaug hold a conference in Geneva to discuss a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa. They receipve the support of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.[8]

1986:

  • The Sasakawa Africa Association is established. "Sasakawa provided the money. Borlaug brought the expertise. Carter contributed the diplomatic connections and power of political persuasion."[9] With $3 million a year from Sasakawa, Borlaug worked with the Carter Center to plant several million demonstration plots in fifteen African countries.[10] In Ghana, Borlaug distributed new corn seeds, fertilizer, and herbicide to farmers.

1989: Ghanaian farmers "harvested a miracle" using Borlaug's seeds and agrochemicals.[11] Their yields had tripled since they began working with Borlaug. Borlaug left Ghana in 1989 and, in the following years, farmers could not afford credit and thus could not afford to buy seeds, fertilizers, and other agrochemicals.[12] Farmers also suffer from lack of markets and poor storage facilities.

1990s

1990:

  • Clive James met with Gary H. Toenniessen of the Rockefeller Foundation and pitched a humanitarian biotechnology project. Toenniessen promised to fund such a project and suggested James reach out to Luis Herrera-Estrella.[14] Herrera-Estrella proposed a project for a virus-resistant potato to James, pointing out that it would be easy to ensure that Monsanto does not lose any sales by donating their technology to a potato for poor farmers because peasant farmers and commercial farmers grow different varieties of potatoes and potatoes are not reproduced via sexual reproduction.
  • James and Herrera-Estrella approached Earnest Jaworski at Monsanto about their idea. Jaworski liked the idea:[15]
""Having talked to Luis, I just felt that we've got a lot of technology here, and it would be nice to share that with people and places that don't have a lot of wealth and technology," says Jaworski. There was another "subliminal" consideration, he says. As part of the project, the Rockefeller Foundation would fund efforts to set up regulatory institutions in Mexico to handle genetically engineered crops. The potato might thus smooth a path for other, more commercially valuable products emerging from Monsanto's laboratories."
  • "Two Monsanto executives [Robert B. Horsch and Earnest Jaworski] got in touch with Joel Cohen, the Senior Biotechnology Specialist for USAID (the US Agency for International Development). Monsanto wanted USAID to help develop a GM crop for Africa that would give GMOs a good name."[16]

Early 1990s: Borlaug and his team set out to recreate in Ethiopia what they did in Ghana.[17]

1991:

1992: The U.S. government finalizes the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology.

1993:

1994:

  • The first genetically engineered crop, Calgene's Flavr Savr tomato, is approved in the U.S. but ultimately fails and is withdrawn from the market.
  • At the launching of the FAO Special Programme for Food Security in Low Income Food Deficit Countries Jacques Diouf says:
"We have tried the low input approach for several decades and it has brought us only a 2 percent decline in food output per person. That approach must be reversed. In the immediate-term we must focus on the areas of high production potential for which we have proven technologies. We must assure the farmers of these areas the full array of inputs and policies that will support their adoption of a modern, science-based system of intensive crop and livestock production. And, for the longer-term, we must develop the technologies that will bring a true transformation of agriculture to the whole of the African continent and to the other world nations that are food deficit because of lagging or backward agricultural and rural economies."[18]

1995: Borlaug's seeds and chemicals reach 5000 farms. The Ethiopian government launches the National Extension Intensification Program to distribute seeds, fertilizer, and credit to 32,000 farms.[19]

1996:

  • Ismail Serageldin, CGIAR Chairman, calls for "a thrice green revolution: green for productivity; green for environmental sustainability; and green for increased income as the entry point to improved living conditions, dealing with the access side of food security."[20][21] At the same time, M.S. Swaminathan wrote about an "ever-green revolution," saying: "The steps taken during the last three years to “re-engineer” the CGIAR, both to maximize its impact and effectively address the concerns I have listed, indicate that the CGIAR will continue to be the flagship of the “Science for Sustainable Food Security Movement.” The major aim of the re-engineered CGIAR should be to promote an “ever-green revolution” based on a pro-nature, pro-poor, pro-woman, and pro-employment orientation to technology development and dissemination."[22]
  • After President Jimmy Carter and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi see lush Ethiopian cornfields grown with hybrid seeds and agrochemicals, Zenawi works to expand the National Extension Intensification Program to 320,000 farms.[23] He announced he wanted to get the number up to 2 million by 1998. Pioneer Hi-Bred introduces its hybrid seeds to Ethiopia. Fertilizer use in Ethiopia doubles and grain production in the second half of the 1990s reaches 11 million tons per year, an increase of 4 million tons per year over the harvests of the 1980s.

1997:

  • Both Bono and Bill Gates become concerned about debt, disease, and hunger in Africa.[25]
  • South Africa allowed farmers to grow GMOs commercially in South Africa. It was the first African nation to do so.[27]

1998: Gates Foundation first funds "Global Health" with a program for children's vaccines.[29]

1999:

  • Four million Ethiopian farms have already adopted hybrid seeds and agrochemicals.[30]
  • "Between 1990-92 and 1997-99 daily per capita dietary energy supply in Sub-Saharan Africa rose slightly from 2120 to 2190 kcal. The number of chronically under-nourished people, however, increased from 168 to 194 million during the same period."[31]

2000s

2000:

  • Robert Paarlberg publishes the article "The Global Food Fight" in Foreign Affairs magazine.[33]
  • Senator John Ashcroft sponsors the "Advancing the Global Opportunities for Biotechnology in Agriculture Act of 2000," which would allocate $6 million to USAID "to educate government officials in developing countries regarding the use of biotechnology in the agricultural sector."[34] The bill never becomes law.

2001:

  • Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) introduces H.R. 2051, a bill "To authorize the National Science Foundation to establish regional centers for the purpose of plant genome and gene expression research and development and international research partnerships for the advancement of plant biotechnology in the developing world." It passes the House but does not become law.[36]
  • Robert Paarlberg publishes the book The Politics of Precaution: Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries.
  • Rajiv Shah joins the Gates Foundation.[37] During his time there, he works as Director of Agricultural Development in the Global Development Program.

2002:

  • After harvesting bumper crops in the 2000-2001 season and the 2001-2002 season. However, the country lacked a transportation system to move the record harvests to areas in need of food. Ethiopia also lacked storage facilities. With all of the crops on the market at the same time, corn and wheat prices collapsed. Farmers who had spent money on inputs like seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and fuel lost a lot of money. In the 2002-2003 crop year, farmers were unable to afford purchased inputs.[39]
"In the 2002-2003 planting season, fertilizer use in Ethiopia plummeted 27 percent. Hybrid-seed sales tumbled 70 percent. To further cut down on expenses, the larger commercial farmers... took land out of production and turned off irrigation systems... Corn plantings for 2002-2003 were expected to fall by at least a quarter. And then drought hit. - Enough, p. 73."

2003:

  • Ethiopia experienced a famine.
  • Gates Foundation launches Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative "to accelerate the discovery of new technologies to improve global health."[41] One of the "Grand Challenges" is to "Create a Full Range of Optimal, Bioavailable Nutrients in a Single Staple Plant Species."[42]
  • The U.S. government begins providing Biotech Outreach Funds to U.S. embassies around the world in order to promote genetic engineering to other countries.

2004:

  • Kofi Annan calls for a "new uniquely African Green Revolution—a revolution that is long overdue, a revolution that will help the continent in its quest for dignity and peace."[45]
  • The Prime Minister of India called for a Second Green Revolution.[46]

2005:

2006:

  • The theme of the 2006 Borlaug Dialogue is "The Green Revolution Redux: Can We Replicate the Single Greatest Period of Food Production in All Human History?"[50]

2007:

2008:

  • Ethiopia Commodity Exchange opens.[58] The goal is "to tame that volatility by offering a place for fair price discovery, a place where production gluts could be absorbed and distributed, a place where farmers could finally share some of the risk, a place where they could obtain a futures contract that locked in price before even planting, a place where they could be directly connected to the consumers of their produce rather than through a series of middlemen who would pocket two-thirds of the final price."[59]
  • Robert Paarlberg publishes the book Starved for Science: How Biotechnology Is Being Kept Out of Africa, which advocates for the use of GMOs in Africa.
  • Egypt and Burkina Faso become the second and third African nations to allow GMOs.[61]

2009:

  • "The global food price crisis of 2007-2008 and the global economic crisis resulted in an increase in the proportion and absolute number of hungry people worldwide to historic levels, over 1 billion in 2009."[62]
  • In February, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs publishes a report called "Renewing American Leadership in the Fight Against Hunger and Poverty: The Chicago Initiative on Global Agricultural Development."
  • Senator Richard Lugar introduced the "Global Food Security Act," which would have changed the law on foreign aid to require that agricultural research aid "include research on biotechnological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology."[63] The co-chairs of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs report both testify, along with Robert Paarlberg, the report's lead author. The bill was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations committee but it never became law.
  • In April, the South Africa-based African Centre for Biosafety publishes "Africa's Green Revolution Rolls Out the Gene Revolution." It starts:
"The drive by corporate players and certain philanthropic foundations for a ‘Green Revolution in Africa’ is an attempt to entrench an agricultural model based on chemical-intensive, large-scale monocultures designed for export under so-called free trade principles. The participation of biotechnology companies in this drive gives added cause for concern."
  • At the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, President Obama pledged $3.5 billion over three years (FY2010 to FY2012) to a global hunger and food security initiative to address hunger and poverty worldwide.[65]
  • Rajiv Shah is appointed as an Undersecretary in the USDA in April but is later appointed administrator of USAID in December.
  • Gates Foundation gives $11,929,537 to Michigan State University "to create a center in Africa that provides training, education, and technical support for African regulators to make informed decisions on how to use biotechnology while protecting farmers, consumers, and the environment."[69] The grant created the African Biosafety Network of Expertise.[70]

2010s

2010:

  • Robert Paarlberg publishes the article "Attention Whole Foods Shoppers," admonishing Americans that eating local and organic food is no way to feed the world, because the world's hungry need "access to improved roads, modern seeds, less expensive fertilizer, electrical power, and better schools and clinics."[72]

2011:

  • Kenya becomes the fourth African nation to allow importation and planting of GMOs. The other three are South Africa, Egypt, and Burkina Faso.[75]
  • Grow Africa founded as a partnership of private corporations, the African Union, and development agencies.

2012

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. Peter Steinhart, “The Second Green Revolution,” The New York Times, October 25, 1981, Accessed May 20, 2011.
  2. “Helping Africa Help Itself,” The Economist, July 2, 2005.
  3. David Rieff, “A Green Revolution for Africa?” The New York Times, October 12, 2008.
  4. “Will Annan’s ‘Green Revolution’ Work for the Starving in Africa?” Africa News, July 18, 2007.
  5. Peter Steinhart, “The Second Green Revolution,” The New York Times, October 25, 1981, Accessed May 20, 2011.
  6. Elliot Berg, "Accelerated development in Sub-Saharan Africa : an agenda for action," World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1981.
  7. Daniel Charles, Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food, Praeger, 2001, p. 18.
  8. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 36-37.
  9. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 38.
  10. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 46-47.
  11. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 47.
  12. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 49-50.
  13. Ben Barber, “'Population Monster' Seen Threatening Chaos; Father of 'Green Revolution' Says Crops Not the Answer,” San Diego Union-Tribune, November 11, 1990.
  14. Daniel Charles, Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food, Praeger, 2001, p. 266.
  15. Daniel Charles, Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food, Praeger, 2001, p. 267.
  16. USAID: Making the world hungry for GM crops, GRAIN, April 25, 2005, Accessed October 14, 2011.
  17. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 48-49.
  18. CGIAR Annual Report 1995-1996, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, October 1996, p. 88.
  19. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 48-49.
  20. CGIAR Annual Report 1995-1996, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, October 1996, p. 61.
  21. Eric Holt-Gimenez, Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America's Farmer to Farmer Movement, p. 156.
  22. CGIAR Annual Report 1995-1996, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, October 1996, p. 74.
  23. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 49.
  24. Daniel Charles, Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food, Praeger, 2001, p. 150-151.
  25. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 137-138.
  26. Bill Gates, "Support the World's Poorest Farmers," World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogues, October 15, 2009.
  27. Overview of the South African Regulatory Framework for GMOs, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  28. FARA Africa Background, Accessed March 10, 2012.
  29. Foundation Timeline, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  30. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 49.
  31. 2003 CAADP Framework Document, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, July 2003.
  32. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  33. The Global Food Fight," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2000, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  34. S. 2106: Advancing the Global Opportunities for Biotechnology in Agriculture Act of 2000," Accessed March 8, 2012.
  35. FARA Africa Background, Accessed March 10, 2012.
  36. H.R. 2051, 107th Congress, Accessed March 23, 2012.
  37. Kristi Heim, "Gates Foundation's Raj Shah picked for White House post," April 17, 2009.
  38. NEPAD History, Accessed March 10, 2012.
  39. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 71-73.
  40. Foundation Timeline, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  41. Global Challenge Explorations Press Release, Gates Foundation, October 9, 2007, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  42. Grand Challenges, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  43. About CAADP, Accessed March 10, 2012.
  44. Implementing the CAADP Agenda, Accessed March 10, 2012.
  45. "Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa Appoints Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Chair of the Board," AGRA, June 14, 2007, Accessed April 1, 2012.
  46. Prime Minister Calls for Second Green Revolution,” Hindustan Times, November 19, 2004.
  47. U.S.-India Set the Ball Rolling for Second Green Revolution,” Hindustan Times, July 19, 2005.
  48. Silent Killer, Accessed March 13, 2012.
  49. "The Abuja Declaration on Fertilizers for an African Green Revolution - Status of Implementation at Regional and National Levels," June 2011.
  50. 2006 Borlaug Dialogue, Accessed March 30, 2012.
  51. Foundation Timeline, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  52. Reflections of a Science Pioneer: Rob Horsch Says Goodbye to Monsanto, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  53. About OFAB, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  54. Foundation Timeline, Accessed March 7, 2012.
  55. Howard G. Buffett, philanthropist and environmentalist - Ambassador Against Hunger, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  56. About OFAB, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  57. Calestous Juma and Ismail Serageldin, Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development, Report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology, NEPAD, August 2007.
  58. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 211.
  59. Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty, PublicAffairs, 2009, p. 212.
  60. IAASTD Report, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  61. Global Views on Genetically Modified Crops and Patent Values, NERAC, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  62. Melissa D. Ho and Charles E. Hanrahan, "The Obama Administration’s Feed the Future Initiative," Congressional Research Service, January 10, 2011.
  63. S. 384: Global Food Security Act of 2009, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  64. Norman Borlaug and Richard Lugar, "A new green revolution," The Washington Times, April 5, 2009.
  65. Melissa D. Ho and Charles E. Hanrahan, "The Obama Administration’s Feed the Future Initiative," Congressional Research Service, January 10, 2011.
  66. About OFAB, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  67. About Us, Accessed March 9, 2012.
  68. Agricultural Innovation in Africa], Accessed March 11, 2012.
  69. Grant OPP49404_01, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  70. NEPAD-MSU land $10.4 million to improve African agricultural practices, October 15, 2009, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  71. Melissa D. Ho and Charles E. Hanrahan, "The Obama Administration’s Feed the Future Initiative," Congressional Research Service, January 10, 2011.
  72. Attention Whole Foods Shoppers," May/June 2010, accessed March 8, 2012.
  73. "Danforth Plant Science Center Collaborative Research Program Receives Major Grant to Fight Malnutrition in Developing World," April 13th, 2011, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  74. "Howard G. Buffett Foundation Teams with DuPont and The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to Deliver Nutritionally Enhanced Sorghum to Africa," May 4, 2011, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  75. Joe DeCapua, "Kenya Now Able to Produce, Import GM Foods," Voice of America, July 4, 2011, Accessed March 9, 2011.
  76. Jacob Ng'etich, "Genetic maize seeds set for Kenyan market," Daily Nation, February 23, 2012.

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