AGRA what is it ?


Officially launched in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa is chaired by Mr Kofi A. Annan, former Secretary General at the United Nations. With other important personalities, he exercises his influence over African governments, NEPAD and the African Union to implement AGRA in Africa.


This Revolution is ‘new’ in the sense that it is based not on political agreements but on the financial rationale of multinationals. AGRA’s origins lie in an alliance between two foundations (Rockefeller and Bill & Melinda Gates), their partners, top international agri-business companies, Monsanto, Dow & Syngeta, Dupont and other promoters of genetic engineering.  This includes the engineering of GM plants and seeds and agricultural products under license. African farmers, farmers’ organisations and technicians with wide experience in agriculture in Africa have not been consulted to discern the new green revolution that Africa needs.


Hidden behind the official rhetoric that states that AGRA will increase farming productivity in Africa and benefit the small farmers, there is a solid marketing campaign on behalf of the multinationals.  Prospectors are surveying the African regions with a view to establishing markets for seeds and fertilisers for which the companies mentioned above have a monopoly.  Moreover, hand in hand with this activity goes the expansion of industrial-scale monocultures of crops intended for profit-making purposes on international markets.


PASS (Program for Africa's Seeds Systems), the financial body of AGRA, is paying for the training of managers and traders who will form a network of developers, consultants and vendors. Their exclusive focus will be products for which donors to AGRA have the monopoly  right across the continent. Directors of AGRA openly admit that their approach to seed production paves the way for genetic engineering; however, they do not agree on the necessity of GMOs for Africa.


African farmers working with AGRA have a very small margin for negotiation and those who have already signed contracts are tied for 5 years; it will be less than five years for others who are required to sign now. Concretely, this means that they receive credit for 5 years and commit themselves to the seed crop and a specific fertilizer.  After that it is up to them to find the financial resources to continue or find alternatives. Moreover, we are talking about an industrial agriculture that has serious impacts on the environment, the quality of soil, water availability, biodiversity and, consequently, the rural economy, the capacity of farmers to choose a course of action, food security and food sovereignty in the country.


Prospectors for AGRA continue to lobby the African Union, African governments and researchers to implement national AGRA projects and to change, through public-private partnerships, national legislation to facilitate the introduction of genetically modified products.



Certain AGRA practices lack transparency, and perhaps even honesty.


In Mali, farmer organisations know the farmers of their region.  However, it was only by chance that members learned that the Malian research institute had been carrying out maize and rice trials for more than a year – financed by AGRA – at a research station in Bamako and in the region of Mopti.  When they looked for information, they discovered that the ‘farmers’ shown in a film on the station’s website were not known to the farmer organisations.  “We do not know where to find organised farmers.  Our problem is knowing how to find small farmers!” replied an AGRA manager based in Seattle to a question from Mr M. Goïta, a member of COPAGEN-Mali.


In Burkina Faso, AGRA is setting up a project and is working through a local organisation to obtain, without revealing its identity, the support of INADES, a trusted reference point for the rural world in Africa.


In Tanzania, there is surprise at the lack of information available through the media about projects launched by AGRA even though thousands of dollars are at stake and the issue concerns the life and work of the rural population.


Finally, numerous scientists recognised internationally for their knowledge of development in Africa have been cited by AGRA even though they do not subscribe to the project.  Others have been “recruited” by AGRA in Nairobi, Accra or Seattle.


AGRA is already established in Mali (10 projects in 2008), Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana, and also in Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi and a number of other countries.

Go back