rural agriculture in Africa

New Alliance heralds rapid destruction of rural Africa

rural agriculture in AfricaRural life and natural techniques of agriculture in Africa are in imminent danger of disappearing from this continent forever. Industrialized countries have run out of land and easily exploitable communities in their own countries and are now turning their attention to Africa, where they are teaming up with governments of African countries to seize land from villagers, create mono-culture plantation farms, export massive amounts of food. And to force the use of modified seeds, the free distribution and exchange of native seeds is being outlawed.

In plain English, African countries are required to change their trade and agriculture laws to include ending the free distribution of seeds, relax the tax system and national export controls, and open the doors wide for profit repatriation (allowing the money as well as the crops to be exported). In Mozambique, as elsewhere across the continent, local farmers have been evicted from their land under land sales agreements and, according to Guardian newspaper, the country “is now obliged to write new laws promoting what its agreement calls ‘partnerships’ of this kind”

…African nations are required to “change their seed laws, trade laws and land ownership in order to prioritize corporate profits over local food needs”.

…The New Alliance, according to the British prime minister, is “a great combination of promoting good governance and helping Africa to feed its people”. He and the rest of the G8, Friends of the Earth believes, “[pretend] to be tackling hunger and land grabbing in Africa while backing a scheme that will ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of small farmers”. This new deal is “a pro-corporate assault on African nations”, providing “investment and support” opportunities for greedy investors looking to further expand their corporate assets with the support of participating governments.

…True investment in Africa is investment in the people of Africa: the smallholder farmers, the women and children, and the communities across the continent. It involves working collectively, consulting, encouraging participation and, crucially, sharing – sharing knowledge, experience, technology, land, food, water and minerals equitably among the people of Africa and indeed the wider world.

To date, 9 of 54 African nations have entered into “New Alliance” agreements, including

Ethiopia, where wide ranging human rights violations, including forced displacement and rapes, have reportedly accompanied land sales…

Monsanto responsible for Indian farmer suicidesIn India, farmers who find themselves embroiled in mounting debt from the use of GMO seeds commit suicide at the rate of one every 30 minutes. How will African farmers react when they discover the ramifications of the seed agreements being forced on them?

The only seeds available in India now are GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which require farmers to pay an annual royalty each time they are replanted. The GMOs need additional fertilizers, and as the seasons move forward, more insecticides and pesticides. The soil in which these seeds are planted requires more water. All of which means more and more money for the farmer to lay out.

… Another story weaving in and out of the film is that of a neighboring girl in college who has recently lost her father to suicide, an end claiming lives all over India’s farmlands. She wants to tell his story, along with the stories of all the other suicide victims in the area. Her research and intuition have shown her that at the root of these suicides are GMO seeds.

Also see “Lack of conventional seeds enlarges Bt cotton area” and Bitter Seeds (the movie)

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