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AGRA Gets Make-up, Not Make-over

BOSTON and KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 2022 (IPS) - Despite its dismal record, the Gates Foundation-sponsored Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced a new five-year strategy in September after rebranding itself by dropping ‘Green Revolution’ from its name.

Rebranding, not reform
Instead of learning from experience and changing its approach accordingly, AGRA’s new strategy promises more of the same. Ignoring evidence, criticisms and civil society pleas and demands, the Gates Foundation has committed another $200 million to its new five-year plan, bringing its total contribution to around $900 million.

More than two-thirds of AGRA’s funding has come from Gates, with African governments providing much more – as much as a billion dollars yearly – in subsidies for Green Revolution seeds and fertilizers.

Stung by criticism of its poor results, AGRA delayed announcing its new strategy by a year, while its chief executive shepherded the controversial UN Food Systems Summit of 2021. Following this, AGRA has been using more UN Sustainable Development Goals rhetoric.