A new report exposes how Western AID agencies including Bill Gates' are supporting controversial agribusiness policies in developing countries, especially in Africa.
Prominent Western AID donors are supporting industrial agriculture companies at the expense of local and family farmers throughout Africa, according to a new report published on Tuesday by the Oakland Institute.
The report asserts that five donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S., U.K., Danish, and Dutch governments are financing initiatives which compel African countries to commit to reforms that maximize corporate profits of commercial agriculture companies.
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According to the 28-page document, these five donors finance the "Enabling the Business of Agriculture” (EBA) index, which was launched in 2013 to measure a country’s willingness to carry out controversial agriculture policies.
If countries fail to implement the recommended reforms issued by the EBA donor countries, they are described as “lagging” behind” in their performance ranking, which was developed in order to push the agenda of its donors.
“The EBA exemplifies a growing trend in international donors’ aid programs, which have become powerful instruments to impose a market-based, pro-private sector vision of agriculture," the report states.
The donors supporting the EBA have designed aid strategies for food and agriculture that undermine governmental ability to design and implement sound public policies in food security.
“The EBA donors are a tremendous financial and institutional power. They are using this power and influence to reform Africa’s agricultural sector,” the report adds.
The report goes on to criticize the high profile western aid groups for "putting profit-driven corporations in charge of food security and alleviating poverty in the world."
“Instead, strong national policies are needed to support sustainable production by smallholder farmers.These polices cannot be dictated by the World Bank and a cluster of international donors," the report concludes.