AGRA Watch is a grassroots, Seattle-based group challenging the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s questionable agricultural programs in Africa, including its Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The Gates Foundation and AGRA claim to be “pro-poor” and “pro-environment,” but their approach is closely aligned with transnational corporations, such as Monsanto, and foreign policy actors like USAID. They take advantage of food and global climate crises to promote high-tech, market-based, industrial agriculture and generate profits for corporations even while degrading the environment and dis-empowering farmers. Their programs are a form of philanthrocapitalism based on biopiracy.
On March 23, 2015 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored a secret meeting in London to promote a recent report they commissioned detailing in clear terms how to privatize the seed and agricultural markets of Africa- without African stakeholders having a seat at the table. CAGJ/AGRA Watch and Global Justice Now coordinated simultaneous actions in Seattle and London.
CAGJ Press Release; March 23 Gates Foundation Plots Ways of Profiting from Africa’s Seed Systems: Simultaneous Demonstrations in London and Seattle
CAGJ Press Advisory; March 20 Simultaneous Demonstrations in Seattle and London Oppose Gates Foundation’s Secret Meeting about Seed Privatization in Africa
African Centre for Biosafety Press Release; March 9 White men meet in London to plot ways of profiting off Africa’s seed systems
Coverage of Seattle protest
KIRO TV (video) Demonstrators picket Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
KOMO Radio covered action all day, can’t find link.
Humanosphere Blog Activists protest Gates Foundation plan for African farmers
Coverage of London protest
Inter Press Service Gates Foundation Slammed for Plan to Privatise African Seed Markets
Coverage of both protests
Common Dreams (Featured) Gates Foundation’s Seed Agenda in Africa ‘Another Form of Colonialism,’ Warns Protesters
CounterPunch Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa’s Future
Coverage of Issue
The Ecologist (authored by African Centre for Biosafety) Grabbing Africa’s seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation back agribusiness seed takeover
Global Justice Now Blog The fight for seed freedom
Open Democracy Secretive and seedy: how aid donors are opening the agribusiness flood gates
Twitter Action: #freetheseeds
Africa-US Summit Report | 03/07/2015
Human Feeding Trials of GM Banana Delayed | 01/29/2015
“Don’t Ask How to Feed the 9 Billion” | 11/21/2014
Vandana Shiva and The New Yorker | 10/01/2014