I found this article interesting because of the work being done to assist Africa “out of the kindness of their hearts.” HOWEVER, I also tend to hope that this is an omen of the pure intentions of things to come to assist all of these countries mired in starvation, filth, poverty, civil war, GMO agriculture, etc….Envision a world of peace and EVERYONE is fed, housed, clothed, and happy, and not with the help of some manical bureaucrats with one intention only!-A.M.
On Saturday David Cameron was celebrating the historic commitments to ending under-nutrition that had been secured under the UK’s G8 presidency. But another less visible development was also being celebrated, namely the decision of Malawi, Nigeria and Benin to join Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso as guinea pigs for the G8′s ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’.
The New Alliance, launched a year ago by President Obama, is a partnership of G8 countries, African governments and private companies (including Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill and Yara) aimed at lifting 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.
It intends to do so not only through development aid, but by encouraging African leaders ‘to refine policies in order to improve investment opportunities’, thus ‘catalysing private sector investment in African agriculture’. The policies in question concern seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, land tenure, water resources, and any other domain where local practices, if ‘unreformed’, may constrain the investment potential for agribusiness.
Mozambique’s Cooperation Framework, drawn up with private sector partners in exchange for their commitment to invest, provides an insight into how far the New Alliance is already redrawing the regulatory map in partner countries.
A role is envisaged for smallholders, to whom production would be contracted out by agribusiness. However, the meat of the agreement is on the regulatory front, where the Mozambican government promises ‘incentives for the private sector, especially in developing and implementing domestic input and seed policies’ which is fleshed out to mean ‘ceasing the distribution of free and unimproved seeds’. This comes alongside commitments to reform land rights to facilitate major investments, and to promote free trade.