Ahead of the annual African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), scheduled from 5-9 September in Kigali, Rwanda, African civil society, faith groups and farmer leaders are calling for an end to the failed Green Revolution.
Green Revolution refers to the large increase in production of food grains resulting from the use of high yielding variety seeds,
In their petition Friday, activists called upon all the funders to please stop funding the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a coalition that seeks to catalyze inclusive and sustainable Agriculture Transformation that transforms smallholder agriculture into a highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable system.
“We are urging donors to redirect your funding towards systems that enable people to have their dignity, for all creation to have an equal chance to live, where there are no chemicals in our water, in our ground, and in our food”” said Gabriel Manyangadze, Climate Justice Coordinator at the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI).
Traditionally, according to Manyangadze, chiefs were supposed to cater to the food needs of the widowed and the orphaned.
“The current industrial system not only inhibits small-scale productivity but also takes away the land that is both the home and the livelihood of the African smallholder farmer,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Ferdinand Wafula of Bio-Gardening Innovations said, “Food is critical for human survival. We must stop poisoning our food and our soil. Our survival depends on how we care for the soil and pass it on to future generations.”
The failure of the Green Revolution, according to activists results especially from a misunderstanding of the causes of starvation in Africa today.
Hunger is not caused from lack of food, but from a lack of access to food. It is the failure of the profit-based market to distribute food equitably, it said.
According to Leonida Odongo, another activist of Haki Nawiri Afrika, people are suffering from multiple crises – climate, COVID, war in Europe – all created outside Africa.
“Droughts destroy our harvests, staple food imports are disrupted, fertiliser prices have trebled. Meanwhile the disaster capitalists are circling overhead, planning their next feast. How is it possible that Africa, so rich in natural resources, is dependent on others to feed ourselves? When are we going to break free of these neo-colonial chains and take control of our own destiny?” he said
“We have the expertise. The best people to solve problems in Africa are people from the continent itself. We need afrocentric solutions. Our big question as African people is why should our problems be solved by entities outside the continent?” (END)