African NGOs oppose Gates' initiative
Daily Champion / All Africa Global Media

A coalition of leading environmental pressure groups in Nigeria who met recently to study the development initiative of US billionaire Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and recommended that Africa should not be a dumping ground for unverified technologies such as genetically modified crops.

Participants drawn from around the continent rose in unison to declare the need to build knowledge and resistance to land grabs on the continent and other non-ecological agriculture that threaten African agriculture and food sovereignty.

Mr. Nnimmo Bassey stated that GMO and the agrofuels initiatives promoted by big agribusinesses only aim to erode Africa's traditional systems of farming and contamination of indigenous seeds in favor of engineered varieties.

The communique noted that "a new form of colonialism driven by agribusinesses has been unleashed on the African continent that threatens livelihoods, ecological balance and portends new forms of resource conflicts on the continent.

They must also shun all donor-driven funds that will not support indigenous solutions to hunger in Africa."

The groups also demanded that African governments take adequate steps to protect local farmers and the entirety of Africans from unhelpful schemes that have created hunger and food shortages on the continent.  Over 27 environmental pressure groups singed the communique at the end of the summit.

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