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.

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.

Ethiopia gets its teff back

Ethiopia is celebrating a major victory in a long-running dispute over who owns the patent for products made from teff - an ancient grain that forms the basis of Ethiopia's staple food, injera. The country has been in a legal tussle with a Dutchman owning a patent on the production of Teff flour. Teff, famed for yielding white flour of good quality is used in injera and other traditional Ethiopian food.

Ethiopia is celebrating a major victory in a long-running dispute over who owns the patent for products made from teff - an ancient grain that forms the basis of Ethiopia's staple food, injera. The country has been in a legal tussle with a Dutchman owning a patent on the production of Teff flour. Teff, famed for yielding white flour of good quality is used in injera and other traditional Ethiopian food.

Industrial agriculture and climate chaos

The Climate Collective produced a great 20 page booklet called "Industrial agriculture and the climate chaos" Rich with data and illustrations, it is a good tool to use in awareness raising and capacity building activities. It can be downloaded here You can find English, German and Danish versions on the "Free the Soil" website  

The Climate Collective produced a great 20 page booklet called "Industrial agriculture and the climate chaos" Rich with data and illustrations, it is a good tool to use in awareness raising and capacity building activities. It can be downloaded here You can find English, German and Danish versions on the "Free the Soil" website  

Civil society groups welcome decision of development bank complaints panel to proceed with complaint from DR Congo communities against palm oil company

The panel of the complaints mechanism for the German, Dutch and French development banks has ruled that a complaint submitted on 5 November 2018 by nine communities in the DR Congo is admissible. This means that the complaints mechanism will now begin a preliminary review process before initiating the mediation process requested by the communities to resolve their long-standing land conflict with Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), a subsidiary of Canadian company, Feronia Inc.

The panel of the complaints mechanism for the German, Dutch and French development banks has ruled that a complaint submitted on 5 November 2018 by nine communities in the DR Congo is admissible. This means that the complaints mechanism will now begin a preliminary review process before initiating the mediation process requested by the communities to resolve their long-standing land conflict with Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), a subsidiary of Canadian company, Feronia Inc.

Camila retires from GRAIN

It is with a tinge of sadness but a huge amount of love and appreciation that we announce that Camila Montecinos will retire from GRAIN as of 31 December 2018.

It is with a tinge of sadness but a huge amount of love and appreciation that we announce that Camila Montecinos will retire from GRAIN as of 31 December 2018.

Villagers in Sierra Leone ponder their future after winning their lands back from a palm oil company

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Peasants rights victory in New York

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

GMO cotton failure in Burkina Faso: Farmers speak out

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

Only the soil can free us

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.  

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.