Gates Foundation Focuses $3bn Agro-Fund On Rich Countries, ‘Pushes GMO Agenda In Africa’

Staff Writer | RT News | November 5, 2014

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives the majority of its $3 billion in food and agricultural grants to rich Western countries, with critics accusing it of using its money to force a pro-GMO agenda on Africa, a recent report suggests.  GRAIN, a small international non-profit, made its accusation after breaking down the foundation’s distribution of grants handed out between 2013 and 2014.  Roughly $1.5 billion ends up in the hands of hundreds of different research, development and policy organizations, 80 percent of which are based in the US and Europe. Only 10 percent of those groups, meanwhile, are in Africa.

The charity further notes a deepening of the so-called North-South divide via the allotment of money to non-governmental organizations. Of the $669 million the foundation earmarks to NGOs for agricultural work, GRAIN says over three-quarters has gone to US-based organizations. Africa-based NGOs, by contrast, only receive 4 percent.  The other half of the $3 billion fund is allocated to 4 distinct groupings.

The first, CGIAR, a consortium of 15 international research centers set up to promote the Green Revolution across the world, has received $720 million from the foundation. According to GRAIN, most of the CGIAR centers dedicate their money to developing new crop varieties.  Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which was set up by the Gates Foundation, receives $414 million. International organizations, including the World Bank and World Food Program, take in $362 million, while the Nairobi-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has received $95 million since 2008...