Monday, November 24, 2014

Using development aid to support multinational fertilizer companies.

The African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), under the guise of empowering smallholder farmers in Africa, is subsidising multinational fertiliser and financial corporations on African soil. AFAP, established in 2012, with a grant of US $25 million from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

According to a new report from the African Centre for Biosafety, AFAP's main focus is the provision of credit guarantees to importers and distributors of fertilisers in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.
In essence, AFAP is using development funds, as well as money from the Ethiopian government-one of the least developed countries in the world-to subsidise multinational fertiliser companies such as Yara, which dominates the fertiliser trade in Africa. ...Far from enabling African smallholder farmers to grow food and profits, this scam will trap small- scale farmers into a never ending cycle of debt and increasing poverty," said Gareth Jones, a researcher with the ACB.

Recent ACB fieldwork in Malawi found that small-scale farmers are using extremely high levels of fertiliser, on soils that are technically infertile, at great additional expense, but with very little material benefits. ACB's research report shows that the adoption of Green Revolution inputs by small scale-farmers has resulted in net transfers away from farming families to multinational agribusiness. Read more;  Running to stand still: Small-scale farmers and the Green Revolution in Malawi.

The findings concur with my own findings from Zambia and Tanzania recounted for instance in:
Millennium Villages: the Great Experiment
Markets don't distribute food to those without money

I have also summarized other reports about Malawi: The Malawi Fertilizer Myth?

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