The chemical fertiliser push in Africa and its implications for smallholder farmers is not receiving enough attention in current discourses concerning Green Revolution policies and practises in Africa.
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In a scandalous move of skulduggery, the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), under the guise of empowering smallholder farmers in Africa, is subsidising multinational fertiliser and financial corporations on African soil. Other beneficiaries of this scheme are the global grain trading and food processing giants.
This is a briefing about power and control in our food system, focusing chiefly on South Africa's staple food, maize. It shows how a select group of companies, including Tiger Brands, Pioneer and Premier Foods commandeer the entire maize value chain and continue to squeeze the poorest South Africans.
At the heart of the leading initiatives to 'modernise' African agriculture is a drive to open markets and create space for multinationals to secure profits. Green revolution technologies - and the legal and institutional changes being introduced to support them - will benefit a few at the expense of the majority.