GM and Green Revolution practices detrimental to ecosystems in Africa (IRIN News)

Read at :

http://www.irinnews.org/report/98378/countering-africa-s-green-revolution

Countering Africa’s green revolution

Civil society groups are taking on the policies of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which promotes the use of genetically modified (GM) crops and Green Revolution technologies.

They argue that GM and Green Revolution practices – those aimed at increasing developing countries’ crop yields through specific innovations – will, in the long run, be detrimental to ecosystems across the continent. Earlier this month, a coalition of almost 60 civil society groups across Africa came out to protest AGRA ahead of the G8 Summit in London.

“Green Revolution technologies benefit relatively few farmers, often at the expense of the majority. These technologies produce concentration of land ownership, increasing economies of scale (production has to be at a large scale to get into and stay in markets), and a declining number of food-producing households in a context of limited other livelihood options,” they said in a letter sent to AGRA’s president, Jane Karuku.

They also believe that the intellectual property of many plant types may be transferred to large multinational corporations as part of Green Revolution practices.

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
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