Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Community Alliance for Global Justice's critique of AGRA

Four Categories of Problems with AGRA

Political
• uses tax-exempt foundation money to act without accountability
• uses influence to monopolize discussions of development and agriculture
• promotes solutions decided upon undemocratically, by people whose authority has not been conferred by the populace and whose frame of reference is the Global North
• frames the problem as African production, rather than global distribution

Social
• privileges large-scale farmers/landholders
• encourages the purchase of inputs from foreign companies, leading to indebtedness
• intensifies reliance on volatile global economy
• does not address structural and social inequalities
• has the potential to exacerbate women’s poverty in integrated cash economies

Environmental
• encourages higher intensity of cultivation and monocropping, which decreases biodiversity and undermines indigenous crops
• potential for GE crops to be introduced and contaminate surrounding crops
• is uncritical of the first Green Revolution and does not acknowledge that its priniciples were introduced in some countries in Africa, and failed

Ethical
• privileges/asserts Western knowledge systems
• limits self-determination among farmers in Africa
• receives funding from foundations whose wealth is rooted in the maintenance of unequal global distribution
• promotes a racist model of development in which African producers are targets of Western conceptions of linear “progress”
• devalues the systems and knowledge of local peoples and precludes reciprocity and mutuality in exchanging ideas

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