In a debate about plant nutrition, the executive director of the International Fertilizer Association, Charlotte Hebebrand, said in essence that Africa is using less fertilizer and should increase its capacity to do so: ” fertilizer use in Africa is ten times lower than the world average ”.
Yet nitrogen fertilizers are known for their significant contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions with a contribution of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas “300 times more potent than CO2” quite important.
It is this kind of “advice” and “support” to the agricultural world that we are seeing more and more from the agribusiness sector in developing countries.
The political authorities of these countries and the international organizations continue to encourage African peasants in this direction.
During the 9th Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Forum in Accra, Ghana, the spread of this “gospel” is expected to continue. Yet this model of agriculture has shown its limits throughout Africa and agroecology peasant is an adequate and obvious response to climate and food crises in Africa.
Pressures on farmers for the intensive use of chemical fertilizers, laws that criminalize peasant seeds, privatization of land, race for mechanization, hybrid seeds and monocultures …. among others are the farming systems and practices promoted by the “green revolution” on the continent.
While the last special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released August 08, 2019 recognizes the harmful role of industrial agriculture and pays tribute to agroecology peasant, this 9th Forum, will he, devoted to the use of digital technology to “transform” African food systems.
On a continent steeped in the paradox of its dependence on food imports while it holds huge farmland (60% of agricultural land is in Africa according to some estimates) and or scandals like that caused by the discovery of 160,000 tons of local rice in warehouses in Cameroon is an insult to African intelligence.
It is necessary in the face of all this to seriously ponder this determination to impose this false solution, this false model to solve the problems of African agriculture.
When assessing the agricultural potential of the continent, there is no need for a “green revolution” if the objective is indeed to feed Africa. The issue of the fight against hunger can ‘t be a business of agribusiness and that of multinationals. Because in the different tactics and strategies of the latter appear only the quest for profit and the control of resources that are land, water and seeds.
For example, by looking closely at food imports on the African continent, we can say that they are the result of policies directed and pushed by multinationals and USAID-like agencies, in complicity with some of the continent’s elites.
This “green revolution” which is in total contradiction with the quest for food sovereignty because it imposes an abundant and massive recourse to chemical fertilizers and mechanization, it imposes agricultural productions which are useful for its consumer market but not for that peasants, and thus destroying the local markets that are at the center of this food sovereignty.
This “green revolution” is preparing the climate chaos of tomorrow with its strong dependence on fossil fuels.
The ecological footprint of fertilizers is enormous, although this is underestimated in the calculations because it obscures the real magnitude of emissions of these chemical fertilizers, and therefore its impact on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. Cannot continue to be ignored.
Due to its growing energy needs, increasing water consumption, dependence on pesticides and other highly toxic chemicals that are destructive to the environment and health, the “green revolution” can not claim to be “friend of the climate” and biodiversity.
Before pretending to become one, it should above all break its proximity to the multinational agribusiness, the first beneficiary of its actions and which are always highlighted in the Foras of AGRA, main windows of a private sector in search of podiums to continue to convey its propaganda on the absolute necessity of the public-private partnerships which are done however to the detriment of the people and the African agriculture.