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The global farmland grab goes green

These days the companies that are in the business of selling farmland to billionaires and pension funds are peddling it as a green, sustainable and socially responsible investment. Carbon credits and net-zero pledges are fueling a new round of farmland buying by billionaires and pension funds that will undermine real climate solutions.

These days the companies that are in the business of selling farmland to billionaires and pension funds are peddling it as a green, sustainable and socially responsible investment. Carbon credits and net-zero pledges are fueling a new round of farmland buying by billionaires and pension funds that will undermine real climate solutions.

Agritech in Africa promoted in Davos

Bill Gates, at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which opens today in Davos, Switzerland, alongside agrobusiness multinationals in corpore, pursues a strategy of predation and transformation in continental African agriculture. In the name of world hunger and climate change.

Bill Gates, at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which opens today in Davos, Switzerland, alongside agrobusiness multinationals in corpore, pursues a strategy of predation and transformation in continental African agriculture. In the name of world hunger and climate change.

Funding industrial agriculture vs agroecology: Not a simple binary

It's often said that we need to "shift funding" from industrial agriculture to agroecology in order to advance food sovereignty. While it’s true that we need to resource and strengthen agroecology, the idea that it’s matter of moving money around, or pointing institutions in a different direction, is not as straightforward as it sounds.

It's often said that we need to "shift funding" from industrial agriculture to agroecology in order to advance food sovereignty. While it’s true that we need to resource and strengthen agroecology, the idea that it’s matter of moving money around, or pointing institutions in a different direction, is not as straightforward as it sounds.

A label for bicycle chicken? Time to ask some questions!

On July 2021, the government of Burkina Faso announced the launch of a project to provide a label for “bicycle chicken”, as local chicken is known there and in other African countries. According to the government, the aim of this label is to protect local Burkina Faso chicken from imported broiler chickens. But how can it be attributed to just one country? And if the aim is to protect a breed of chicken via the market, doesn’t creating a label run the risk of promoting its industrialisation?

On July 2021, the government of Burkina Faso announced the launch of a project to provide a label for “bicycle chicken”, as local chicken is known there and in other African countries. According to the government, the aim of this label is to protect local Burkina Faso chicken from imported broiler chickens. But how can it be attributed to just one country? And if the aim is to protect a breed of chicken via the market, doesn’t creating a label run the risk of promoting its industrialisation?

Toxic philanthropy: Wealthy US donors are influencing policy to serve their own interests.

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Local and Global Elites Join Hands: Development and Diffusion of Bt Cotton Technology in Gujarat

In this paper, Shah explores how Bt cotton, advanaced as a solution to the problems generated by the green revolution technological paradigm in India, sustains and reinforces the hegemony of global and local elites. Page can also be found

In this paper, Shah explores how Bt cotton, advanaced as a solution to the problems generated by the green revolution technological paradigm in India, sustains and reinforces the hegemony of global and local elites. Page can also be found

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.  

Corporations make a killing milking Africa

Africa's vibrant dairy sector is under threat. Multinational dairy corporations see the continent as a dumping ground for their excess production and as a new frontier for their processed dairy products. They are pushing for regulations, trade measures and agribusiness projects that will undermine local dairy systems and give them monopoly control over Africa's rapidly growing urban markets.

Africa's vibrant dairy sector is under threat. Multinational dairy corporations see the continent as a dumping ground for their excess production and as a new frontier for their processed dairy products. They are pushing for regulations, trade measures and agribusiness projects that will undermine local dairy systems and give them monopoly control over Africa's rapidly growing urban markets.

Mozambique won’t be Mato Grosso

In the Mozambican village of Nakarari, deep in the bush of the Mutuali district, 2,000km north of Maputo, 40 villagers were meeting under a mango tree; children played around them, jumping with excitement whenever a fruit dropped. The villagers were hoping that a popular movement centred on Nakarari had dealt a fatal blow to Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana. A popular movement centred on a small farming village in northern Mozambique has, for the moment, halted an attempt to move to cash-crop monocultures mainly for export.

In the Mozambican village of Nakarari, deep in the bush of the Mutuali district, 2,000km north of Maputo, 40 villagers were meeting under a mango tree; children played around them, jumping with excitement whenever a fruit dropped. The villagers were hoping that a popular movement centred on Nakarari had dealt a fatal blow to Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana. A popular movement centred on a small farming village in northern Mozambique has, for the moment, halted an attempt to move to cash-crop monocultures mainly for export.

Hands off our maize! Resistance to GMOs in Mexico

A broad mobilisation of students, peasants, indigenous networks, scientists and both national and international organisations has succeeded in blocking the release of GM maize in Mexico, the centre of origin for one of humanity's four most important crops.

A broad mobilisation of students, peasants, indigenous networks, scientists and both national and international organisations has succeeded in blocking the release of GM maize in Mexico, the centre of origin for one of humanity's four most important crops.

Barbarians at the barn: private equity sinks its teeth into agriculture

Financial flows going into agriculture are growing more and more institutionalised – and more and more private. To be sure, investing in agriculture has been going on since time immemorial. After all, farmers do it every day as they improve their soils, set up cooperatives, share knowledge with their children and develop local markets. But since the mid 2000s, institutional investment in agriculture has started growing. From seven agriculture-focused funds in 2004 to more than 300 today, the interest in capturing profits from farming and agribusiness on a global scale is real – and Covid-19 is not slowing things down.

Financial flows going into agriculture are growing more and more institutionalised – and more and more private. To be sure, investing in agriculture has been going on since time immemorial. After all, farmers do it every day as they improve their soils, set up cooperatives, share knowledge with their children and develop local markets. But since the mid 2000s, institutional investment in agriculture has started growing. From seven agriculture-focused funds in 2004 to more than 300 today, the interest in capturing profits from farming and agribusiness on a global scale is real – and Covid-19 is not slowing things down.

Land and seed laws under attack: who is pushing changes in Africa?

The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities.

The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities.

A new Green Revolution for Africa?

For some time now, there's been talk of a new Green Revolution for Africa – because "Africa missed the first Green Revolution" or because "the first Green Revolution missed Africa". Now a new project, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is trying to put the concept into operation. This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven't worked before and why AGRA won't work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.

For some time now, there's been talk of a new Green Revolution for Africa – because "Africa missed the first Green Revolution" or because "the first Green Revolution missed Africa". Now a new project, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is trying to put the concept into operation. This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven't worked before and why AGRA won't work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.

The global farmland grab by pension funds needs to stop

Money from pension funds has fuelled the financial sector's massive move into farmland investing over the past decade. The number of pension funds involved in farmland investment and the amount of money they are deploying into it is increasing, under the radar. This unprecedented take-over of farmland by financial companies has major implications for rural communities and food systems, and must be challenged. Leaving it to the companies to police themselves with their own voluntary guidelines is a recipe for disaster.

Money from pension funds has fuelled the financial sector's massive move into farmland investing over the past decade. The number of pension funds involved in farmland investment and the amount of money they are deploying into it is increasing, under the radar. This unprecedented take-over of farmland by financial companies has major implications for rural communities and food systems, and must be challenged. Leaving it to the companies to police themselves with their own voluntary guidelines is a recipe for disaster.