African Agricultural Growth Corridors and the New Alliance: who benefits, who loses?

Helena Paul and Ricarda Steinbrecher at EcoNexus tell us about African Agricultural Growth Corridors and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. You can see their report here.

The idea is to end poverty and hunger by promoting commercial, intensive agriculture and free trade. That sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, maybe. Not everybody is impressed.

African Agricultural Growth Corridors were proposed in 2008 at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The plan was confirmed at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 WEF proposed a New Vision for Agriculture. Now the Group of Eight (G8) is developing its New Alliance between the G8, African countries and private sector partners.

Ms Paul and Mr Steinbrecher aren’t very impressed. They say that the Corridors and the New Alliance ‘are described as development opportunities, especially for small farmers, but are likely to be most advantageous to corporations and client governments. They have the backing of international institutions including the World Economic Forum, the G8 and G20 groups of the major global economies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank. More recently many of the same players have come together to create the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which promises to reinforce and extend the Corridor concept.’

Kirtana Chandrasekaran and Nnimmo Bassey at Friends of the Earth agree. Writing in the Guardian, they say that the New Alliance is a flawed project. ‘The new alliance prioritises unprecedented access for multinational companies to resources in Africa. To access cash under the initiative, African governments have to make far-reaching changes to their land, seed and farming policies… Networks of smallholder farmers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and environmentalists from across Africa have called the scheme “a new wave of colonialism” designed to secure profits and royalty flows out of Africa.’

About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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7 Responses to African Agricultural Growth Corridors and the New Alliance: who benefits, who loses?

  1. dianabuja says:

    I, too, am unimpressed – there are a variety of similar initiatives now being proposed – ‘value chains’ is another that MAY be approached in positive ways, but also may be subject to misuse.

    • argylesock says:

      I haven’t heard of ‘value chains’. Where can we find info about them? There’s the trusty google, of course, but perhaps you know a site in particular that’s informative.

  2. Pingback: Farming could be key to solving youth unemployment in Africa | Science on the Land

  3. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and
    I am waiting for your further post thanks once again.

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