"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Kofi Annan - Where are they Now No 376

The Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa, (AGRA) was established last year with an initial US$150 million joint grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

It's declared aim (See R.Foundation White Paper) is to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families across Africa. In the grand terms used on these occasions it seeks to help these farmers lift themselves and their families out of poverty and hunger through sustainable increases in farm productivity and incomes. They seek nothing less than a new "Green Revolution" in Africa.

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, ( Eden Square, Wrstlands 00800 Nairobi there will also be an office in Accra) it will work throughout Africa on a wide range of interventions across the agricultural “value chain,” ranging from strengthening local and regional agricultural markets, to helping improve irrigation, soil health and training for farmers, to supporting the development of new seed systems better equipped to cope with the harsh African climate.

At a World Economic Forum on 14th June 2007 AGRA announced that Kofi Annan had been appointed AGRA's first Chairman.

The Press release says that Kofi is ," keenly aware that most of Africa’s poor, particularly its poor women, depend on farming for food and income, in 2004 Annan called for a “new uniquely African Green Revolution—a revolution that is long overdue, a revolution that will help the continent in its quest for dignity and peace.”

The Alliance is a response to recent calls by African leaders to chart a new path for prosperity by spurring the continent’s agricultural development and also seeks to help reverse decades of relative neglect in funding for agricultural development for Africa.

It strongly endorses the vision laid out in the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which seeks a 6 % annual growth in food production by 2015.

Dr. Monty Jones, head of FARA, a leading African agricultural research organization and a board member of AGRA, said he welcomed the appointment. “With Kofi Annan as our new chairman the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa will be much better placed to build broader political and economic support behind our vision of pro-poor, pro-environment partnerships needed to revitalize agriculture for Africa’s small-scale farmers, and replace wide-spread poverty with prosperity,” he said.

Many of course see this as a method fpr US based GM technology to be inserted into Africa after the failures in Europe - Kofi's first outing in Nairobi on Augus 1st did nothing to help. (see "What Exactly Did Kofi Annan Say in Nairobi?)

At a Press conference, he started by saying, "AGRA is not using GMOs." He also said, "...let me assure you that we [AGRA] are not engaging in genetically modified food." It is only later that he clarifies, "But for the moment, we are only sticking to traditional methods."

AGRA's original Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) they said, "Introduction of genetically engineered crops is not part of the Alliance strategy."

Later in their "Statement on Plant Breeding and Genetic Engineering," they noted, "The Alliance is not at this time funding the development of new varieties through the use of genetic engineering." See also here

At the press conference, Kofi, speaking for AGRA said, "If you take the Green Revolution in India, science played a role, but the government, the then government, deserves a great deal of the credit by putting in infrastructure, coming in with the right agricultural policies, and this is what I'm expecting the African governments to do, and I will be working with them in this direction."

Watch this Green space.... and feel free to believe that KA is a well paid stalking horse for insinuating GM foods into the African agricultural economy which, "which seeks a 6 % annual growth in food production by 2015. "

The Green revolution at work in Mexico 1964

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