Greenpeace calls on AGRF to rethink its Approach to Agriculture in Africa

Press release - September 6, 2017
Nairobi, 6th September 2017 - The seventh edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2017 under the theme ‘Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Inclusive Economies and Jobs through Agriculture’ is hosted in Abidjan from September 4-8 2017. The ambition of the forum has been to accelerate the progress on agriculture’s contribution to economic growth, transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.

However, efforts by stakeholders have mainly been to push for industrial agriculture. In response to this, Greenpeace Africa’s Food for Life Campaigner, Siddharth Sreenivas has said:

“While AGRF talks about empowering farmers, it sadly has a narrow agenda to promote industrial agriculture with net benefits accruing to investors and not the majority of farmers in Africa. Inclusiveness would mean that small holder farmers and consumers are at the forefront of deciding their future, not companies like Yara, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto.

“The economic models supporting the Green Revolution are hardly sustainable as profits are concentrated among middle men, big corporations selling inputs and agri- business marketing the produce. There is a huge disparity between the price of goods if purchased directly from a farm and prices paid by end consumers resulting in extreme hardships for consumers and farmers.

“African nations should not blindly follow or replicate agricultural models from the rest of the world. The Green Revolution has proven to be a failure across the world with yields stagnating or declining, expensive seeds, consumer and farm end health issues from the use of heavy agrochemicals. The reality in Africa is very stark and learnings must be drawn from failed agricultural models in order to develop holistic models that work for the majority of farmers on the continent.

“Greenpeace Africa calls on Africa’s governments and policymakers in AGRF to rethink their priorities and take a multidimensional approach to agriculture. They need to ensure that farmers and farming systems are strengthened and empowered in the process of building food security in Africa”.

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