Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

Feronia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Harassment, violence and oppression

Oil palm plantations managed by the Canadian-based agribusiness company FERONIA Inc have been opposed by local residents ever since they were established by the previous owner of the plantations, multinational food company Unilever. Incidents of violent abuse and conflict arising from the company’s oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been a regular occurrence. In 2015, seven children were left orphaned after police killed both indigenous pygmy parents for taking some oil palm fruits from the plantations to feed their children.

Oil palm plantations managed by the Canadian-based agribusiness company FERONIA Inc have been opposed by local residents ever since they were established by the previous owner of the plantations, multinational food company Unilever. Incidents of violent abuse and conflict arising from the company’s oil palm plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been a regular occurrence. In 2015, seven children were left orphaned after police killed both indigenous pygmy parents for taking some oil palm fruits from the plantations to feed their children.

Are European taxpayers funding land grabs and forest destruction?

The central aim of European Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) is to foster growth and reduce poverty. Yet in Africa, evidence is mounting that they have funded ‘forestry’ projects which have caused deforestation, possible land grabs, and undermined communities’ livelihoods.

The central aim of European Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) is to foster growth and reduce poverty. Yet in Africa, evidence is mounting that they have funded ‘forestry’ projects which have caused deforestation, possible land grabs, and undermined communities’ livelihoods.

Caravana Matopiba uncovers alarming human and environmental costs of agribusiness


During its visits, the delegation observed high levels of agrochemical pollution, diminishing natural resources, land grabbing, as well as significant impact on the health of traditional communities, resulting from increasing soy plantations.

During its visits, the delegation observed high levels of agrochemical pollution, diminishing natural resources, land grabbing, as well as significant impact on the health of traditional communities, resulting from increasing soy plantations.

Congress urged to probe golden rice

Quezon City – A House Resolution directing an inquiry on the controversial Golden Rice has been filed at the House of Representatives today, as an effort to stem the imminent re-introduction of the genetically modified (GM) crop in the country.

Quezon City – A House Resolution directing an inquiry on the controversial Golden Rice has been filed at the House of Representatives today, as an effort to stem the imminent re-introduction of the genetically modified (GM) crop in the country.

Communities affected by Hengfu sugar plantation in Cambodia submit petition to Chinese Embassy

On 30 August 2017, 40 people brought a petition to the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh calling for the withdrawal of a group of Chinese agribusiness companies from Preah Vihear province in northern Cambodia. The companies, five subsidiaries of the Chinese company Hengfu, are accused of grabbing land in 2011 from tens of thousands of families and their communities, destroying local ecosystems and putting farmers’ livelihoods in jeopardy.

On 30 August 2017, 40 people brought a petition to the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh calling for the withdrawal of a group of Chinese agribusiness companies from Preah Vihear province in northern Cambodia. The companies, five subsidiaries of the Chinese company Hengfu, are accused of grabbing land in 2011 from tens of thousands of families and their communities, destroying local ecosystems and putting farmers’ livelihoods in jeopardy.

Port Loko Declaration: Women say “We want our lands back!”

We, Women want our land and forests back so that we can have an agriculture that feeds us. We want a change that allows us to provide livelihoods that allow for good, healthy lives in dignity for our communities.

We, Women want our land and forests back so that we can have an agriculture that feeds us. We want a change that allows us to provide livelihoods that allow for good, healthy lives in dignity for our communities.

WEMA project shrouded in secrecy: open letter to African governments to be accountable to farmers, civil society

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project promises to develop drought tolerance in maize for the benefit of small holder farmers, but is really a project designed to facilitate the spread of hybrid and genetically modified (GM) maize varieties on the continent. WEMA involves five African countries: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. It works through the National Agricultural Research (NAR) agencies of these countries, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Monsanto. The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project promises to develop drought tolerance in maize for the benefit of small holder farmers, but is really a project designed to facilitate the spread of hybrid and genetically modified (GM) maize varieties on the continent. WEMA involves five African countries: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. It works through the National Agricultural Research (NAR) agencies of these countries, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Monsanto. The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

International mission to measure human rights impact of land grabbing kicks off

An international delegation will travel across the Brazilian region of MATOPIBA to document the social, economic, environmental and human rights impact of large-scale land acquisitions.

An international delegation will travel across the Brazilian region of MATOPIBA to document the social, economic, environmental and human rights impact of large-scale land acquisitions.

The true cost of US food identified in new report

The Sustainable Food Trust today publishes summary proceedings of an international conference which brought together leading experts to establish the true cost of food in the United States (US). The US was one of the first countries to intensify food production and as a result was also one of the first to suffer from the negative impacts.  

The Sustainable Food Trust today publishes summary proceedings of an international conference which brought together leading experts to establish the true cost of food in the United States (US). The US was one of the first countries to intensify food production and as a result was also one of the first to suffer from the negative impacts.  

Farmers protest against the commercialisation of golden rice in Bangladesh

Hundreds of farmers, peasant women and agricultural workers protested in front of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), denouncing the government's approval of golden rice commercialisation and reaffirming their opposition to all GMOs. 

Hundreds of farmers, peasant women and agricultural workers protested in front of the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), denouncing the government's approval of golden rice commercialisation and reaffirming their opposition to all GMOs. 

Better and different! Transforming food systems through agroecology

For over half a century the struggle against poverty has been a focus of global rhetoric. Rarely, however, do people ask the most important question: Who is going to fight poverty? The World Bank and many governments have their answer: outside experts, donors and corporations will alleviate poverty. This perspective more or less reduces the struggle against poverty to an investment programme. Civil society organisations and social movements, in contrast, have a very different answer. In their view, the poor need to free themselves from poverty. This will require broadening their scope for action and strengthening their rights, and involves a programme of empowerment aimed at both more encompassing as well as piecemeal shifts in the balance of power. The poor are not needy recipients of aid; they only have their hands bound. This is where the concept of agroecology, the focus of this brochure, plays in.

For over half a century the struggle against poverty has been a focus of global rhetoric. Rarely, however, do people ask the most important question: Who is going to fight poverty? The World Bank and many governments have their answer: outside experts, donors and corporations will alleviate poverty. This perspective more or less reduces the struggle against poverty to an investment programme. Civil society organisations and social movements, in contrast, have a very different answer. In their view, the poor need to free themselves from poverty. This will require broadening their scope for action and strengthening their rights, and involves a programme of empowerment aimed at both more encompassing as well as piecemeal shifts in the balance of power. The poor are not needy recipients of aid; they only have their hands bound. This is where the concept of agroecology, the focus of this brochure, plays in.

Trade politics in flux: what social movement responses?

Over the last 30 years, people’s responses to the economic, social, and political impacts of capitalist globalisation have included inspiring examples of collective organising, strong social movements and radical progressive thinking.

Over the last 30 years, people’s responses to the economic, social, and political impacts of capitalist globalisation have included inspiring examples of collective organising, strong social movements and radical progressive thinking.