Yves here. This is a damning account of how the African Green Revolution, which was supposed to greatly increase agricultural output and reduce hunger through “modern” farming techniques, has only modestly increased output at the cost of soil degradation. Even worse, malnutrition has increased.
By Timothy A. Wise, who directs the Land and Food Rights Program at the U.S.-based Small Planet Institute and is a Senior Researcher at Tufts University’s Global Development and Environment. Originally published at the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy blog; cross posted from Triple Crisis
Fourteen years ago, the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller foundations launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with the goal of bringing Africa its own Green Revolution in agricultural productivity. Armed with high-yield commercial seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, AGRA eventually set the goal to double productivity and incomes by 2020 for 30 million small-scale farming households while reducing food insecurity by half in 20 countries.
According to a new report from a broad-based civil society alliance, based partly on my new background paper, AGRA is “failing on its own terms.” There has been no productivity surge. Many climate-resilient, nutritious crops have been displaced by the expansion in supported crops such as maize. Even where maize production has increased, incomes and food security have scarcely improved for AGRA’s supposed beneficiaries, small-scale farming households. The number of undernourished in AGRA’s 13 focus countries has increased 30% during the organization’s well-funded Green Revolution campaign.
“The results of the study are devastating for AGRA and the prophets of the