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.

China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities

China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come. But: who is going to produce the food in China, if its farmers are moved to the cities? An article by Ian Jonhson of the New York Times.

China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come. But: who is going to produce the food in China, if its farmers are moved to the cities? An article by Ian Jonhson of the New York Times.

Africa, let us help – just like in 1884

From the Conference of Berlin to today's G8, 'helping' Africans looks suspiciously like grabbing their resources. An excellent take on the G8 plans to help Africa, by George Monbiot.

From the Conference of Berlin to today's G8, 'helping' Africans looks suspiciously like grabbing their resources. An excellent take on the G8 plans to help Africa, by George Monbiot.

Open Letter from Mozambican civil society organisations and movements to the presidents of Mozambique and Brazil and the Prime Minister of Japan

The sweeping scope of the ProSavana programme stands in contrast to the total absence of a broad, transparent and democratic public debate over it, preventing small-scale farmers and their families from exercising their constitutional right of access to information, consultation, participation and informed consent on a matter of great social, economic and environmental relevance.

The sweeping scope of the ProSavana programme stands in contrast to the total absence of a broad, transparent and democratic public debate over it, preventing small-scale farmers and their families from exercising their constitutional right of access to information, consultation, participation and informed consent on a matter of great social, economic and environmental relevance.

Our man in Sudan

An ex-Wall Street banker jets off to South Sudan to show how investors are rushing to Africa in a modern-day land-grab. A fascinationg Aljazeera video.

An ex-Wall Street banker jets off to South Sudan to show how investors are rushing to Africa in a modern-day land-grab. A fascinationg Aljazeera video.

Modernising African agriculture: who benefits?

African civil society organisations are up in arms about the new corporate and donor initiatives to 'help' Africa. They have launched an appeal against the plans of the G8, AGRA, and others to drive corporate agriculture into the continent. Read and support their appeal online. (also in French and Portuguese)

African civil society organisations are up in arms about the new corporate and donor initiatives to 'help' Africa. They have launched an appeal against the plans of the G8, AGRA, and others to drive corporate agriculture into the continent. Read and support their appeal online. (also in French and Portuguese)

Ugandan schoolboys reflect on landgrabbing

Ochen Solomon is one of four Ugandan schoolboys who wrote essays about the effects of land grabbing on the lives of their families and community as part of the annual Essay Contest for Children and Young People of African Descent 2013. This London-originated initiative encourages and supports educational development in children aged 7 to 16 years in Africa and across the African diaspora. Ochen and his schoolmates chose to read GRAIN's report, "Squeezing Africa Dry" from a list of documents on contemporary issues. The questions they had to address were: What are your views on the topic of land grabbing? What are your solutions to these challenges? What is your family, or people you know, doing about it? They then conducted their own independent research on their chosen topic, and then provided their perspective on it.

Ochen Solomon is one of four Ugandan schoolboys who wrote essays about the effects of land grabbing on the lives of their families and community as part of the annual Essay Contest for Children and Young People of African Descent 2013. This London-originated initiative encourages and supports educational development in children aged 7 to 16 years in Africa and across the African diaspora. Ochen and his schoolmates chose to read GRAIN's report, "Squeezing Africa Dry" from a list of documents on contemporary issues. The questions they had to address were: What are your views on the topic of land grabbing? What are your solutions to these challenges? What is your family, or people you know, doing about it? They then conducted their own independent research on their chosen topic, and then provided their perspective on it.

Is Africa about to lose the right to her seed?

Seed and the control of seed lies at the heart of agriculture. In Africa around 80% of seed comes from local and community saved seed resources. This seed is adapted to local conditions. It forms an integral part of community food security and agricultural integrity. This entire traditional system is now under threat.

Seed and the control of seed lies at the heart of agriculture. In Africa around 80% of seed comes from local and community saved seed resources. This seed is adapted to local conditions. It forms an integral part of community food security and agricultural integrity. This entire traditional system is now under threat.

Mozambican youth and students denounce G8's New Alliance

Youth and student group Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities (ADECRU) call G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa an attack against Africa's food sovereignty, cultural diversity and biodiversity.

Youth and student group Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities (ADECRU) call G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa an attack against Africa's food sovereignty, cultural diversity and biodiversity.

Drought and dams in biblical garden of Eden

The Ilısu Dam, an 11 billion-cubic-meter hydroelectric project on the Tigris River in Turkey will reduce the river’s downstream flow from 20 billion cubic meters to just 9, destroying about 670,000 hectares of arable land in Iraq. A National Geographic story of a disaster in the making.

The Ilısu Dam, an 11 billion-cubic-meter hydroelectric project on the Tigris River in Turkey will reduce the river’s downstream flow from 20 billion cubic meters to just 9, destroying about 670,000 hectares of arable land in Iraq. A National Geographic story of a disaster in the making.

GE trees to fight climate change?

The realities of climate change have become altogether painfully obvious. Many are working to address this by reducing consumption, and protecting landscapes and biodiversity. ArborGen and other tree biotechnology companies, however, have a different vision. They want to develop so-called “bio-energy” from massive plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

The realities of climate change have become altogether painfully obvious. Many are working to address this by reducing consumption, and protecting landscapes and biodiversity. ArborGen and other tree biotechnology companies, however, have a different vision. They want to develop so-called “bio-energy” from massive plantations of genetically engineered (GE) trees.

New seed legislation spells disaster for small farmers in Africa

Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.

Civil society organisations from the SADC region, and around the world have condemned the SADC draft Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights) as spelling disaster for small farmers and food security in the region. These groups, representing millions of farmers in Africa and around the world have submitted their concerns to the SADC Secretariat. They are calling for the rejection of the Protocol and urgent consultations with farmers, farmer movements and civil society before it’s too late.

Tunis 2013: If we rely on corporate seed, we lose food sovereignty

It has become crucial to defend seeds. In the past 20 or 30 years, what was once seen as normal – peasant farmers growing, selecting, saving and exchanging seeds – has come under attack from corporations seeking to control and commodify the very basis of agriculture. This was the subject of the session at the World Social Forum in Tunis on Peasant Seeds jointly organized on March 28, 2013 by La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and the ETC Group.

It has become crucial to defend seeds. In the past 20 or 30 years, what was once seen as normal – peasant farmers growing, selecting, saving and exchanging seeds – has come under attack from corporations seeking to control and commodify the very basis of agriculture. This was the subject of the session at the World Social Forum in Tunis on Peasant Seeds jointly organized on March 28, 2013 by La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and the ETC Group.

Peasant farmers’ markets in Colombia

The latest edition of the Nyéléni newsletter is dedicated to the struggles for food sovereignty that help us to hope for a better world, including this story of how peasants in Colombia are fending off the advance of supermarkets and managing to build up their own markets in Bogotá. 

The latest edition of the Nyéléni newsletter is dedicated to the struggles for food sovereignty that help us to hope for a better world, including this story of how peasants in Colombia are fending off the advance of supermarkets and managing to build up their own markets in Bogotá. 

Stop the crop!

In the last 15 years only two GM crops have been authorized for cultivation in Europe. This was a result of public rejection and successful opposition by the environmental, social and farmers movements. However, we are still faced with around 25 GM crops in the pipeline that are close to getting approved, many of them resistant to (multiple) herbicides, and Bt-crops. Therefore, we are launching a new campaign on Monday 18 March to stop new GMO approvals for cultivation in the EU: Stop the Crop!

In the last 15 years only two GM crops have been authorized for cultivation in Europe. This was a result of public rejection and successful opposition by the environmental, social and farmers movements. However, we are still faced with around 25 GM crops in the pipeline that are close to getting approved, many of them resistant to (multiple) herbicides, and Bt-crops. Therefore, we are launching a new campaign on Monday 18 March to stop new GMO approvals for cultivation in the EU: Stop the Crop!