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New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

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The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition was announced on the occasion of the 3rd Annual Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, a May 2012 event hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs at which President Barack Obama gave a keynote address.

Corporations and Commitments

Global corporations:

  • Agco Corp: Commitment to "invest $100 million over the next three years to implement model farms and training centers aimed at improving productivity for 25,000 smallholder farmers ranging from Ethiopia to Mozambique."[1]
  • Armajaro
  • Cargill:[2]
  • Diageo: Commitment to a $1.5 million barley farming project in Sebeta, Ethiopia and a $2 million "scalable sorghum value chain project" in Mogoro, Tanzania.[3]
  • DuPont: Commitments to "invest more than $3 million over the next three years to help smallholder farmers in Ethiopia to achieve food security" and to sponsor "an innovative Global Food Security Index being developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to measure the drivers of food security across 105 countries."[4]
  • Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd: Commitment to spend $375 million in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda.[5]
  • Monsanto: Commitment for $50 million "over the next ten years to support sustained Africa agricultural development and growth." The funding will go, in part, to Tanzania's Kilimo Kwanza (Agriculture First) initiative.[6]
  • Netafim
  • Rabobank
  • SABMiller
  • Swiss Re
  • Syngenta: Commitment to make "seed product packs tailored to African farmers" and to "to build a $1 billion business in Africa over the next 10 years."[7][8]
  • Unilever
  • United Phosphorus Limited
  • Vodafone: Commitment for "improved telecommunications access."[9]
  • Yara International: Commitment to "build Africa's first major fertilizer production facility."[10]

African corporations:

Global Company Value Chain Initiatives:

Africa Cashew Initiative:

World Cocoa Foundaiton:

Competitive African Cotton Initiative

Private Sector Entities Signing the Private Sector Statement of Support:

Monsanto's Commitment

"Plans include improved access to financial services through a partnership with Opportunity International, continued work with Tanzanian scientists through the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project to introduce new maize hybrids suitable for Tanzania and available royalty free to seed companies, support of a new depot in the agricultural corridor and strengthening of agro-dealer networks to provide more choice to farmers, support of a new initiative led by the Earth Institute of Columbia University focused on soil health to encourage best management practices, and creation of opportunities that provide farmers with improved access to markets.
"Monsanto will also partner with additional organizations on the ground in Tanzania, including Farm Input Promotion Services on farmer education programs and Muunganisho Ujasiriamali Vijijini (MUVI) on the formation of farmer cooperatives that enable farmers to collectively negotiate and market their harvest."[13]

Syngenta's Commitment

In May 2012, Syngenta announced a commitment to "invest over $500 million over 10 years in Africa." A year later, they publicized a new Memorandum of Understanding with USAID "to support agriculture and food security activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America."[14]

"Under this MOU, USAID and Syngenta will further collaborate in research and development and smallholder capacity building, working with key agriculture and food security partners including scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and other donors...
"Under the MOU, Syngenta and USAID together will build the capacity of smallholder farmers to adopt and safely use technologies that increase their yields through training, demonstrations and other approaches. With USAID, Syngenta will work in specific New Alliance countries and explore ways to increase growers’ use of technologies in crops such as potatoes and will expand smallholder access to tools such as crop insurance and seed treatment."

Critique

Jill Richardson wrote that "The G8 scheme does nothing to address the problems that are at the core of hunger and malnutrition but will serve only to further poverty and inequality."[15] She went on to tell stories of African peasant farmers who made more money by switching to organic farming than by using synthetic fertilizer.

Eric Holt Gimenez of Food First also criticized the New Alliance in an article titled "Nothing New About Ignoring Africa's Farmers."[16] He wrote:

"There's a good reason why the 45 members of the New Alliance don't want to hear from the people actually growing the food in Africa... farmers would say that Africa is actually a rich continent and it is the continued extraction of wealth by foreign corporations that causes poverty and hunger -- that the first Green Revolution did not "bypass" Africa; it failed. A new one spearheaded by the same institutions presently spreading GMOs and land grabbing throughout the continent will do more harm than good."

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy was even more harsh, calling the New Alliance a "sad excuse of an aid program."[17] They wrote:

"How bad is this idea? Money is money, right? Wrong! The private sector is not just like government, only a little different. It is ENTIRELY different. Corporations are accountable to their shareholders, obliged to make a profit. They are not charities. They are bound by law, but not by the public interest... Corporations are not parties to the human rights covenants that oblige most governments to realize the universal human right to food."

Oxfam International was also critical the new effort with a release titled "G8 Food Security Alliance Answers Question Hungry People Have Not Asked."[18] They say that the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition "focuses too heavily on the role of the private sector to tackle the complex challenges of food insecurity in the developing world." Instead, they called on G8 leaders to "keep the promises they have already made to help developing countries invest in sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty." They add that "While there is a positive role for the private sector in the fight against global hunger, the plan's top down approach does not reflect what many people in poor countries say they want or need" and that this new effort is "passing the buck on global hunger."

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles

References

  1. Andrew Quinn, Obama to unveil plan for helping African farmers, Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2012.
  2. Andrew Quinn, Obama to unveil plan for helping African farmers, Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2012.
  3. "Diageo furthers commitment to sustainable agriculture in Africa through investment in Ethiopia and Tanzania; Letters of Intent signed at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Economic Forumâ(EURO)(TM)s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security," Press Release, May 18, 2012.
  4. "DuPont Unveils New Local Investments in Africa and Innovative Global Food Security Index," DuPont Press Release, May 18, 2012.
  5. "Jain Irrigation to spend $375 bln in African countries over next few years," India Investment News, May 21, 2012.
  6. "Monsanto Announces $50 Million Commitment To African Agricultural Development At Symposium On Global Agriculture And Food Security," Monsanto Press Release, May 18, 2012.
  7. Andrew Quinn, Obama to unveil plan for helping African farmers, Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2012.
  8. "Syngenta to expand presence in Africa: contributing to the transformation of agriculture," Press Release, May 18, 2012.
  9. Andrew Quinn, Obama to unveil plan for helping African farmers, Christian Science Monitor, May 18, 2012.
  10. States News Service, Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on Food Security, May 18, 2012.
  11. NEW ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION, CQ Federal Department and Agency Documents: REGULATORY INTELLIGENCE DATA, May 18, 2012.
  12. States News Service, Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on Food Security, May 18, 2012.
  13. "Monsanto Announces $50 Million Commitment To African Agricultural Development At Symposium On Global Agriculture And Food Security," Monsanto Press Release, May 18, 2012.
  14. USAID, Syngenta Collaborate to Improve Global Food Security, May 9, 2013.
  15. Jill Richardson, "How the US Sold Africa to Multinationals Like Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, PepsiCo and Others," Alternet, May 23, 2012.
  16. Eric Holt Gimenez, "The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Nothing New About Ignoring Africa's Farmers," Huffington Post, May 23, 2012.
  17. "G-8 punts on food security … to the private sector," Think Forward, May 22, 2012.
  18. States News Service, "Oxfam: G8 Food Security Alliance Answers Question Hungry People Have Not Asked," States News Service, May 18, 2012.

External Resources

External Articles