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.

Stopping land grabs by university funds: farmers and faculties unite

A great piece by Grassroots Int'l about landgrabbing in Brazil by Harvard University, reporting on a visit of Maisa Mendonça, (director of Rede Social Brazil), and Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN.

A great piece by Grassroots Int'l about landgrabbing in Brazil by Harvard University, reporting on a visit of Maisa Mendonça, (director of Rede Social Brazil), and Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN.

Deceptive IRRI strategy to get Golden Rice approved

The IRRI is desperate to get clearance in Bangladesh for commercial cultivation. They do not care about the potential risks it poses for the country and the major crop rice. It is also a threat to all other rice producing countries. Taking advantage of ‘weak’ regulatory agency and influencing of the authorities with misleading facts in unethical. It is also very surprising that IRRI is showing more interest in getting it approved than the applicant organisation Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. It is IRRI which is trying so hard for the approval using Bangladeshi regulatory agencies on GMOs. Why?

The IRRI is desperate to get clearance in Bangladesh for commercial cultivation. They do not care about the potential risks it poses for the country and the major crop rice. It is also a threat to all other rice producing countries. Taking advantage of ‘weak’ regulatory agency and influencing of the authorities with misleading facts in unethical. It is also very surprising that IRRI is showing more interest in getting it approved than the applicant organisation Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. It is IRRI which is trying so hard for the approval using Bangladeshi regulatory agencies on GMOs. Why?

A dysfunctional plant variety protection system: ten years of UPOV implementation in francophone Africa

In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force, a report by Mohamed Coulibaly and Bob Brac studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region. The results of the investigation are staggering.

In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force, a report by Mohamed Coulibaly and Bob Brac studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region. The results of the investigation are staggering.

Interview: Perspectives on supermarkets in the North and South

Does the steamroller effect of supermarkets have the same impacts in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the planet? How does this model attempt to reinvent itself? What are the consequences for local farming? This is what we wanted to know with this interview between Yuna Chiffoleau, research director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research - INRA, France, and Ange-David Baïmey, coordinator of the NGO GRAIN in Africa.

Does the steamroller effect of supermarkets have the same impacts in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the planet? How does this model attempt to reinvent itself? What are the consequences for local farming? This is what we wanted to know with this interview between Yuna Chiffoleau, research director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research - INRA, France, and Ange-David Baïmey, coordinator of the NGO GRAIN in Africa.

Educating FAO: an urgent need!

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), chose "Forests and Education" as the theme for the 2019 International Day of Forests. But what does FAO mean by “forest education”? A great campaign with action materials launched by the World Rainforest movement

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), chose "Forests and Education" as the theme for the 2019 International Day of Forests. But what does FAO mean by “forest education”? A great campaign with action materials launched by the World Rainforest movement

Women’s role in traditional markets faces the challenge of modern retail

On International Women's Day, we share the reflections of Suci Fitriah Tanjung, of the NGO Solidaritas Perempuan. In her blog post, she describes the important role of women in Indonesia's traditional markets and the challenges they face from the expansion of modern retail.

On International Women's Day, we share the reflections of Suci Fitriah Tanjung, of the NGO Solidaritas Perempuan. In her blog post, she describes the important role of women in Indonesia's traditional markets and the challenges they face from the expansion of modern retail.

Defamatory vs defamation

Over the past few years, GRAIN and other groups have been drawn into a serious of legal actions to defend the rights of people – journalists, rural communities, researchers, NGO workers and unionists – to talk about what they see and experience as land grabbing and other abuses committed not only by multinational corporations in the agribusiness arena, but government authorities and local elites as well.

Over the past few years, GRAIN and other groups have been drawn into a serious of legal actions to defend the rights of people – journalists, rural communities, researchers, NGO workers and unionists – to talk about what they see and experience as land grabbing and other abuses committed not only by multinational corporations in the agribusiness arena, but government authorities and local elites as well.

Big ag eyes big aquaculture

Interesting article on how the big food traders and processors are buying themselves into the aquaculture business.

Interesting article on how the big food traders and processors are buying themselves into the aquaculture business.

Malen women cry for help

SOCFIN, a multinational agribusiness company, arrived in Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun district, Southern Sierra Leone in 2011 to embark on a large-scale investment in palm oil production for the European market.

SOCFIN, a multinational agribusiness company, arrived in Sahn Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun district, Southern Sierra Leone in 2011 to embark on a large-scale investment in palm oil production for the European market.

Land grabbing for palm oil in Sierra Leone

Since the arrival of multinational agribusiness company SOCFIN in 2011 as part of a large-scale investment in palm oil in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, social conflict has raged in the Malen Chiefdom. SOCFIN is controlled by a Belgian businessman (Hubert Fabri) and the French group Bolloré, which has developed a business empire in many parts of Africa. FIAN Belgium publishes a new report "Land Grabbing for Palm Oil in Sierra Leone : Analysis of the SOCFIN Case from a Human Rights Perspective".  

Since the arrival of multinational agribusiness company SOCFIN in 2011 as part of a large-scale investment in palm oil in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, social conflict has raged in the Malen Chiefdom. SOCFIN is controlled by a Belgian businessman (Hubert Fabri) and the French group Bolloré, which has developed a business empire in many parts of Africa. FIAN Belgium publishes a new report "Land Grabbing for Palm Oil in Sierra Leone : Analysis of the SOCFIN Case from a Human Rights Perspective".  

Rubber group ousts farmers in Liberia

Land rights violations, expulsions, violence: According to a report by the development organization Bread for all, the Luxembourg-based Socfin plantation group and its Swiss subsidiaries are involved in serious human rights violations in Liberia. Food security and access to water and education have also deteriorated in the villages surrounding the rubber plantations. This example demonstrates the urgency of the Responsible Business Initiative, which is currently being discussed in the Swiss parliament.    

Land rights violations, expulsions, violence: According to a report by the development organization Bread for all, the Luxembourg-based Socfin plantation group and its Swiss subsidiaries are involved in serious human rights violations in Liberia. Food security and access to water and education have also deteriorated in the villages surrounding the rubber plantations. This example demonstrates the urgency of the Responsible Business Initiative, which is currently being discussed in the Swiss parliament.    

EU trade with Trump would undermine international climate commitments

Three years ago, widespread protests took place across Europe against a planned trade deal between the EU and the US. It was eventually halted. In order to avoid President Trump slapping tariffs on imports of EU-made cars, EU governments are now planning to agree terms to start negotiating a new transatlantic trade deal.

Three years ago, widespread protests took place across Europe against a planned trade deal between the EU and the US. It was eventually halted. In order to avoid President Trump slapping tariffs on imports of EU-made cars, EU governments are now planning to agree terms to start negotiating a new transatlantic trade deal.

Rally in Bangladesh against the release of Golden Rice

Today, on February 13, 2019, Wednesday, 11.00 pm organized by Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumiheen Samity, Labour Resource Center, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha ‍and Bangladesh Adivasi Samity organizing rally and human chain to protest and "Resist GM Golden Rice! Protect Local Variety of Seed!" in front of the National Press Club.

Today, on February 13, 2019, Wednesday, 11.00 pm organized by Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumiheen Samity, Labour Resource Center, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha ‍and Bangladesh Adivasi Samity organizing rally and human chain to protest and "Resist GM Golden Rice! Protect Local Variety of Seed!" in front of the National Press Club.

When Bt brinjal is a failure, why Golden rice?

Introduction of genetically modified crop is a highly risky venture, particularly in a country like Bangladesh that is rich in biodiversity and bio-geographically known as the origin of diversity spot. Despite the known risks, Bangladesh has been targeted for experiment and field trials of GM transgenic crops such as Bt brinjal. This has been done despite the resistance from the farmers, scientists and environmental activists.

Introduction of genetically modified crop is a highly risky venture, particularly in a country like Bangladesh that is rich in biodiversity and bio-geographically known as the origin of diversity spot. Despite the known risks, Bangladesh has been targeted for experiment and field trials of GM transgenic crops such as Bt brinjal. This has been done despite the resistance from the farmers, scientists and environmental activists.