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How does the Gates Foundation spend its money to feed the world?

Since the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation added “feeding the world” to its objectives almost a decade ago, it has channelled an impressive three billion dollars towards agricultural projects, much of it to improve farming in Africa. But GRAIN analysed the foundation's agricultural grants records for the past decade and reached some sobering conclusions.

Since the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation added “feeding the world” to its objectives almost a decade ago, it has channelled an impressive three billion dollars towards agricultural projects, much of it to improve farming in Africa. But GRAIN analysed the foundation's agricultural grants records for the past decade and reached some sobering conclusions.

“Gates Ag One”: one more push to get farmers into high tech

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will set up a new ag research institute. Doesn't look like it will be different from the ones already there. "Gates Ag One" is really one more way to push the Gates agenda for agribusiness.

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will set up a new ag research institute. Doesn't look like it will be different from the ones already there. "Gates Ag One" is really one more way to push the Gates agenda for agribusiness.

Seed laws that criminalise farmers: resistance and fightback

Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?

Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?

Another silver bullet for Africa?

Two leading US private charitable foundations – Rockefeller and Gates - have proclaimed a “new” Green Revolution for Africa. $150 million are to be poured into the continent in the form of new seeds, and in efforts to get small farmers to grow them. Yet none of this is new. It is the same recipe, using the same ingredients, and pushed by the same agency that perpetrated the original Green Revolution starting in the 1950s. It failed in Africa then because it failed to listen to – failed even to ask – the indigenous farmers, who had worked their land for generations.

Two leading US private charitable foundations – Rockefeller and Gates - have proclaimed a “new” Green Revolution for Africa. $150 million are to be poured into the continent in the form of new seeds, and in efforts to get small farmers to grow them. Yet none of this is new. It is the same recipe, using the same ingredients, and pushed by the same agency that perpetrated the original Green Revolution starting in the 1950s. It failed in Africa then because it failed to listen to – failed even to ask – the indigenous farmers, who had worked their land for generations.

Hands off our maize! Resistance to GMOs in Mexico

A broad mobilisation of students, peasants, indigenous networks, scientists and both national and international organisations has succeeded in blocking the release of GM maize in Mexico, the centre of origin for one of humanity's four most important crops.

A broad mobilisation of students, peasants, indigenous networks, scientists and both national and international organisations has succeeded in blocking the release of GM maize in Mexico, the centre of origin for one of humanity's four most important crops.

Land and seed laws under attack: who is pushing changes in Africa?

The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities.

The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities.

Biofortified crops or biodiversity? The fight for genuine solutions to malnutrition is on

GRAIN took a look at the current status of biofortification in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the emerging critiques from feminist perspectives and food sovereignty movements. What we found is a worrisome push for a top-down and anti-diversity approach to food and health that may ultimately undermine people’s capacities to strengthen their local food systems.

GRAIN took a look at the current status of biofortification in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the emerging critiques from feminist perspectives and food sovereignty movements. What we found is a worrisome push for a top-down and anti-diversity approach to food and health that may ultimately undermine people’s capacities to strengthen their local food systems.

Green Revolution ( Africa) Beta programme out now (trial version only)

As Microsoft's Gates prepares to throw US$ 100 million at a "new" Green Revolution for Africa, GRAIN questions whether the reliance on the private sector is really going to benefit the poor.

As Microsoft's Gates prepares to throw US$ 100 million at a "new" Green Revolution for Africa, GRAIN questions whether the reliance on the private sector is really going to benefit the poor.

Seed aid, agribusiness and the food crisis

The world food crisis, rapidly defined by those in power as a problem of insufficient production, has become a trojan horse to get corporate seeds, fertilisers and, surreptitiously, market systems into poor countries. As past experience shows, what looks like “seed aid” in the short term can mask what is actually “agribusiness aid” in the long term. We look at what is going on.

The world food crisis, rapidly defined by those in power as a problem of insufficient production, has become a trojan horse to get corporate seeds, fertilisers and, surreptitiously, market systems into poor countries. As past experience shows, what looks like “seed aid” in the short term can mask what is actually “agribusiness aid” in the long term. We look at what is going on.

Food safety for whom? Corporate wealth versus people's health

School children in the US were served 200,000 kilos of meat contaminated with a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria before the nation's second largest meat packer issued a recall in 2009. A year earlier, six babies died and 300,000 others got horribly sick with kidney problems in China when one of the country's top dairy producers knowingly allowed an industrial chemical into its milk supply. Across the world, people are getting sick and dying from food like never before. Governments and corporations are responding with all kinds of rules and regulations, but few have anything to do with public health. The trade agreements, laws and private standards used to impose their version of "food safety" only entrench corporate food systems that make us sick and devastate those that truly feed and care for people, those based on biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and local markets. People are resisting, whether its movements against GMOs in Benin and "mad cow" beef in Korea or campaigns to defend street hawkers in India and raw milk in Colombia. The question of who defines "food safety" is increasingly central to the struggle over the future of food and agriculture. Read the synopsis of this report here.

School children in the US were served 200,000 kilos of meat contaminated with a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria before the nation's second largest meat packer issued a recall in 2009. A year earlier, six babies died and 300,000 others got horribly sick with kidney problems in China when one of the country's top dairy producers knowingly allowed an industrial chemical into its milk supply. Across the world, people are getting sick and dying from food like never before. Governments and corporations are responding with all kinds of rules and regulations, but few have anything to do with public health. The trade agreements, laws and private standards used to impose their version of "food safety" only entrench corporate food systems that make us sick and devastate those that truly feed and care for people, those based on biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and local markets. People are resisting, whether its movements against GMOs in Benin and "mad cow" beef in Korea or campaigns to defend street hawkers in India and raw milk in Colombia. The question of who defines "food safety" is increasingly central to the struggle over the future of food and agriculture. Read the synopsis of this report here.

Unravelling the “miracle” of Malawi’s green revolution

Malawi’s green revolution success story has been lauded around the world. While it is good to see a government investing in local food production, it is doubtful whether the achievements will be sustainable unless radical changes are implemented. Above all, land needs to be redistributed so that farmers have holdings that are big enough to produce surpluses, and the government needs to move away from its narrow focus on chemical fertlisers and hybrid maize seeds.

Malawi’s green revolution success story has been lauded around the world. While it is good to see a government investing in local food production, it is doubtful whether the achievements will be sustainable unless radical changes are implemented. Above all, land needs to be redistributed so that farmers have holdings that are big enough to produce surpluses, and the government needs to move away from its narrow focus on chemical fertlisers and hybrid maize seeds.

The great milk robbery: How corporations are stealing livelihoods and a vital source of nutrition from the poor

Milk is taking on ever-greater importance in the livelihoods and health of the world's poor. Most of the dairy markets that serve the poor are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from farmers who own just a few dairy animals. But such systems of "people's milk" are in direct competition with the ambitions of big dairy companies, such as Nestlé, and a growing number of other wealthy players that want to take over the entire dairy chain in the South, from the farms to the markets. A battle over dairy is under way that will profoundly shape the direction of the global food system and people's lives.  

Milk is taking on ever-greater importance in the livelihoods and health of the world's poor. Most of the dairy markets that serve the poor are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from farmers who own just a few dairy animals. But such systems of "people's milk" are in direct competition with the ambitions of big dairy companies, such as Nestlé, and a growing number of other wealthy players that want to take over the entire dairy chain in the South, from the farms to the markets. A battle over dairy is under way that will profoundly shape the direction of the global food system and people's lives.  

Sorghum: a crop to feed the world or to profit the industry?

When maize withers and rice shrivels, people in many parts of the world depend on sorghum. Apart from eating the grain, farmers can make beer and use the stalks to build houses and fences, as well as produce animal feed and medicine.They have nurtured and adapted sorghum for 5,000 years, and it has spread along trade routes from its origin in Ethiopia. GRAIN reports on Ethiopian wheat and sorghum farmers who recovered from famine and on Indian farmers who came through the Green Revolution to restore their food sovereignty. Their stories contrast starkly with biotechnologists’ plans to turn yet another food crop into an export commodity.

When maize withers and rice shrivels, people in many parts of the world depend on sorghum. Apart from eating the grain, farmers can make beer and use the stalks to build houses and fences, as well as produce animal feed and medicine.They have nurtured and adapted sorghum for 5,000 years, and it has spread along trade routes from its origin in Ethiopia. GRAIN reports on Ethiopian wheat and sorghum farmers who recovered from famine and on Indian farmers who came through the Green Revolution to restore their food sovereignty. Their stories contrast starkly with biotechnologists’ plans to turn yet another food crop into an export commodity.

Food sovereignty for sale: supermarkets are undermining people's control over food and farming in Asia

In the past decade, food corporations have been taking over a bigger and bigger slice of the retail pie in Asia, with major implications for the entire food chain. Corporate supermarkets are expanding faster in this region than anywhere else on the planet. And as supermarkets and their procurement chains expand, they take revenue out of traditional food systems – and out of the hands of peasants, small scale food producers and traders. They also exert increasing influence over what people eat and how that food is produced.

In the past decade, food corporations have been taking over a bigger and bigger slice of the retail pie in Asia, with major implications for the entire food chain. Corporate supermarkets are expanding faster in this region than anywhere else on the planet. And as supermarkets and their procurement chains expand, they take revenue out of traditional food systems – and out of the hands of peasants, small scale food producers and traders. They also exert increasing influence over what people eat and how that food is produced.

Don’t get fooled again! Unmasking two decades of lies about Golden Rice

In a now iconic Time magazine cover back in 2000, Golden Rice was hailed as the “rice that could save millions.” The optimistic prediction of commercialising the genetically-modified (GM) rice in the early 2000s turned out to be a dud: two decades hence and the Golden Rice has yet to fulfill its messianic promise of solving Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) among kids in poor countries.

In a now iconic Time magazine cover back in 2000, Golden Rice was hailed as the “rice that could save millions.” The optimistic prediction of commercialising the genetically-modified (GM) rice in the early 2000s turned out to be a dud: two decades hence and the Golden Rice has yet to fulfill its messianic promise of solving Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) among kids in poor countries.

A new Green Revolution for Africa?

For some time now, there's been talk of a new Green Revolution for Africa – because "Africa missed the first Green Revolution" or because "the first Green Revolution missed Africa". Now a new project, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is trying to put the concept into operation. This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven't worked before and why AGRA won't work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.

For some time now, there's been talk of a new Green Revolution for Africa – because "Africa missed the first Green Revolution" or because "the first Green Revolution missed Africa". Now a new project, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is trying to put the concept into operation. This paper aims to describe what a Green Revolution really signifies, why such projects haven't worked before and why AGRA won't work either, in order to help people trying to take positions at the local, national and regional levels.