African Agricultural Technology Foundation

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The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is a Nairobi-based lobby group which aims to increase the use of genetically engineered crops in Africa. It is funded by the US and UK governmental aid programs, and by a number of biotechnology corporations.

Established in 2002, the AATF describes itself as "a not-for-profit foundation that is designed to facilitate public-private partnerships for the access and delivery of appropriate technologies to the resource-poor smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa." [1]

But the rice industry website Orzya.com explained the purpose of AATF as being "to work with governments, companies, non-governmental organizations, and research centers to negotiate the sales rights of genetically modified crops and bring new agricultural technologies to the African market." [2]

History

"The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) was set up in 2002 after two years of consultations between a wide range of stakeholders from Africa, North America and Europe to determine an operational model for the foundation in addressing food security and poverty reduction challenges.
"To ensure appropriate stakeholder involvement in the design and business plan development, a Design Advisory Committee (DAC) was appointed, comprising representatives of major stakeholder groups, including African NARs, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research centers, African seed and biotech companies, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) crop science corporations, and donor organisations.
"The first meeting of the Committee was held in Kenya in June 2002 to review the first draft of the business plan. The consultations were facilitated by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Meridian Institute."[1]

AATF was launched in June 2004 at a ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya that was attended by Kenya's Minister for Agriculture, Kipruto arap Kirwa. Then President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Gordon R. Conway, presented the keynote address, underscoring "the important role of African governments in selecting technologies suitable to addressing agricultural problems in Africa." The ceremony also included speeches by Carlos Seré, Jeniffer Thomson, Mpoko Bokanga, and Eugene Terry.[2]

Funding

The AATF website notes that it was established with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) [3].

However, a 2002 State Department communication says AATF is "a partnership between USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, Dupont/Pioneer, Dow Agrosciences, Syngenta, and Aventis, that will begin operation in 2003 to help develop and disseminate new varieties of Africa-specific crops by assuming licenses from industry, managing sublicenses, assuming legal liability for licensed technology and providing high quality project management oversight."[3]

Personnel

Board of Trustees

Contact Details

Web: http://www.aatf-africa.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. AATF's History, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  2. Launch of AATF, Accessed March 8, 2012.
  3. State Department, Fact Sheet: USAID's Natsios on Plan to End Hunger in Africa; Initiative outlined at World Summit in South Africa, August 30, 2002.

External Resources

External Articles