Hundreds of farmers and subject of human rights groups are boycotting the 2021 United Nations Food Organisation Summit because they believe it advantages agribusiness interests, elite groundworks and the using of African food systems. 1
The Summit claims it is convening to “launch bold new actions to transform the way the world renders and consumes nutrient, ”2 but connoisseurs say it is biased toward industrial, corporate agriculture while leaving out those in regenerative agriculture and the knowledge of indigenous people. 3
The controversy began right from the start, when U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres appointed Agnes Kalibata as the event’s head. Kalibata is the onetime Rwandan agriculture minister who is now the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa( AGRA ), an organization funded by the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation. 4
AGRA is essentially a Gates Foundation subsidiary, and while some of the research project appear to be beneficial, most of its goals are centered on promoting biotechnology and chemical fertilizers.
Corporate Interests Dominating Food Summit
After Kalibata was appointed special emissary to the 2021 United Society Food Systems Summit in December 2019, 176 civil society organizations and farmer groups from 83 countries exhorted Guterres to withdraw the appointment due to Kalibata’s clear conflicts of interest with corporate interests.
A second evidence, signed by more than 500 professors and organizations, too defended Kalibata’s appointment to, and her organisations of, the Summit. 5 AGRA is known to promote the interests of agribusiness, resulting civil society organizations to argue that Kalibata’s appointment was a clear conflict of interest.
“This concern over Kalibata’s nomination has been largely borne-out by Kalibata’s top-down approach to organizing the Summit and her exclusion of those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition in the planning process, ” according to an August 2020 report by AGRA Watch. 6
A dozen mortals representing development banks, academic institutions and the private sector came forward in support of Kalibata, but “1 1 had past or current connections to the Gates Foundation, ” AGRA Watch reported, adding: 7
“These discovers summarize the impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation( BMGF) on world-wide nutrient and agricultural programme. AGRA Watch has continually documented the role of the BMGF in influencing agricultural development, which has grown extremely in recent years.
That Gates Foundation seeks to exercise influence not only through its fund of projects and shaping of knowledge, but also in funding the governance stages that measure food and agricultural programme. This persona of the BMGF in driving policy decisions based on its proprietary and technological model of agricultural proliferation is often overlooked.”
Precision Agriculture, Genetic Engineering Take Center Stage
Concerns that the Summit was dominated by corporate industry heightened when its concept paper included precision agriculture, data available and genetic engineering as mainstays for addressing menu defence while leaving out regenerative agriculture.
As reported by The Guardian, Michael Fakhri, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to meat, wrote to Kalibata stating that the Summit was focused on “science and technology, money and markets” while leaving fundamental questions about inequality, accountability and governance unaddressed :8
“It[ seems] heavily skewed in favor of one type of approach to food systems, namely market-based answers … it leaves out experimental/ traditional knowledge that has the acute effect of excluding indigenous peoples and their knowledge. The business sector has been part of the problem of food systems and has not been held accountable.”
The 300 million-member Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism announced plans to boycott the Summit and set up a rally of their own, while others, including Sofia Monsalve Suarez, head of nutrition titles group Fian International, questioned the Summit’s legitimacy: 9
“We cannot jump on a train that is heading in the wrong direction … We send a character last year to the secretary general about our concerns. It was not answered. We mailed another last month, which has not been answered. The elevation emerges particularly biased in favor of the same performers who have been responsible for the food crisis.”
Other nutrition experts also expressed the need for the Summit to be more inclusive of initiatives such as agro-ecology and food sovereignty.
Food Group Calls on UN to Sever Ties With WEF
A group of 148 make-ups from 28 countries also called on the U.N. to repeal their 2019 strategic partnership organized with the World Economic Forum( WEF ). WEF’s commitment with the Summit has been called a form of “corporate hijacking” that would infringe on people’s rights to meat and food production. According to the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty: 10
“The WEF will exploit the Summit to streamline neoliberal globalization, which it has espoused for the past 50 years. It is the perfect venue to push for the role of’ Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies’ to transform food items, which the WEF has been advocating since 2017.
A corporate-led FSS[ Food Organization Summit] would be a great advantage to the political upper-class and corporate billionaires, enabling them to pose hypocritically as responsible entities that promote healthier foods and climate action.
… The sidelined and marginalized spheres in culture — the poor farmers, proletarians, Indigenous Peoples, herders, pastoralists, fisherfolks, urban good, dames, Dalits, and youth — should supersede these corporate moguls in forming the Summit’s proceedings and reforms.”
Beyond the Summit, WEF’s takeover of the U.N. has been denounced by more than 400 civil society and 40 international networks, which claim it will only accelerate the move toward a privatized, undemocratic world takeover. Monsalve Suarez territory: 11
“Corporations in the world industrial food chain alone destroy 75 billion tons of topsoil annually and are responsible for the annual loss of 7.5 million hectares of forest. This slaughter, along with other factors, leaves 3.9 billion underfed or malnourished beings. The WEF represents the interests of those who destroy the environment and ill-treatment our human rights. It cannot be considered a strategic partner in solving the world’s crises.”
Africa’s Traditional Food Systems Under Attack
Planning documents for the Summit also reveal plans for a “radical transformation shift” in Africa, away from traditional agriculture practices and toward industrial farm — even describing the potential as the “new oil.”1 2 The African Centre for Biodiversity( ACB ), which liberated the documents, said the plans recycle the “same false solutions … with the same narrow interests accruing to a limited number of actors.”1 3
For instance, one section of the documents is titled “the promise of digital and biotechnologies and the transformation of food systems, ” and describes “the significant potential for capturing vast economic, social and ecological payoffs from the use of biotechnology makes … In West Africa, for instance, farmers can benefit greatly from the adoption of Bt cotton.”1 4
Technology and growing make center stage, along with “strengthening the use of big data” for decisions on things like fertilizer apply, genetically engineered pastures and “accessing markets.” As noted by U.S. Right to Know: 15
“This agenda aligns perfectly with the plans of the agrichemical manufacture, the Gates Foundation and its main agricultural blooming program, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which supports African countries to pass business-friendly policies and scale up markets for patented seeds, fossil-fuel based fertilizers and other industrial inputs they say are necessary to boost food production.”
“The main problem with AGRA, ” Global Justice Now excuses, “is that it is laying the groundwork for the deeper penetration of African agriculture by agribusiness business, ” and 😛 TAGEND
“The BMGF, through AGRA, is one of the world’s largest proponents of chemical fertiliser. Some concessions given by the BMGF to AGRA have been specifically intended to’ promotion AGRA build the fertiliser ply chain’ in Africa. One of greater of AGRA’s own grants, worth $25 million, was to help establish the African Fertiliser Agribusiness Partnership( AFAP) in 2012 whose terribly goal is to’ at least double total fertiliser use’ in Africa.”1 6
Bill Gates Is the Biggest Owner of US Farmland
The BMGF’s involvement in the Summit is also self-serving, as Bill Gates owns more farmland in the U.S . than any other private farmer, having obtained a total of 242,000 acres — much of it considered some of the richest grunge in the U.S. — at a hysterical pace over the past few years. 17
Gates, however, isn’t interested in regenerative agriculture but instead is furthering an agricultural plan that is compatible with agrochemicals, patented seeds, fake meat and corporate restraint — interests that undermine regenerative, sustainable, small-scale farming. One of the key players in this agenda is the widespread adoption of synthetic meat.
Gates has made very clear that he believes swapping to synthetic beef is the solution to reducing methane emissions that is just coming up animals fostered on converged animal feeding runnings( CAFOs ). 18
The strong recommendation to replace beef with fake meat is started in Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, ” which was released in February 2021.19 In an interview with MIT Technology Review, he goes so far as to say that people’s demeanors should be changed to learn to like bogu meat and, if that doesn’t work, regulations could do the trick. 20
What numerous aren’t aware of, nonetheless, is that Gates is either personally invested in, or invested in via Breakthrough Energy Ventures, bullshit flesh companionships like Beyond Meats, Impossible Foods, Memphis Meat and other fellowships he actively promotes. 21
When asked whether he reputes plant-based and lab-grown meat could “be the full solution to the protein problem globally, ” he says that, in middle- to above-income countries, yes, and that people can “get used to it.”2 2
Small Farmers, Regenerative Agriculture Are the Answer
The U.N. Food Summit is poised to bow down to corporate ideology instead of embracing the small farmers and regenerative practices that have true potential to feed the world countries and salve countries around the world. If you’re new to this discussion, you can find the top six intellects to support regenerative agriculture now. As Timothy Wise, senior adviser at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, told The Guardian: 23
“A stretching number of farmers, scientists and development professionals now propose a transformation from high-input chemical-intensive agriculture to low-input ecological farm. They complemented by an regalium of new study substantiating both the risks of continuing to follow our current practices and the potential benefits of a transition to more sustainable farming.”
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