Dear friends and colleagues
The African Centre for Biosafety offers this briefing paper to you, titled "Monsanto's Seed of Hope Campaign in South Africa".
In the briefing, we offer information about Monsanto's Seed of Hope Campaign in the Eastern Cape-the poorest of South Africa's nine provinces, where Monsanto's project was subsidised with huge chunks of public funds, which enabled it to penetrate extremely impoverished communities - first by introducing a Green Revolution type package as an important precursor to the introduction of its GM maize seeds, ably assisted by Bayer Cropscience, amongst other players.
During September 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a donation of $150 million to contribute to a "Second Green Revolution" in Africa to alleviate poverty and hunger. The money will be used, amongst other things, to promote technology packages for small-scale farmers containing fertilizer and new seeds. The aims of this new Green Revolution for Africa is very similar to Monsanto’s Seeds of hope campaign and is likely to benefit the seed and fertilizer industries, while having negligible impacts on total food production and further marginalizing African rural areas.
The South African government has a close and intimiate relationship with Monsanto and other mulitnational corporations. However, we continue to struggle against injustice in South Africa. In April, South African NGO, Biowatch SA's appeal against Monsanto will be heard when Biowatch will try to overturn a court ruling that it must pay Monsanto's legal costs - "punishment because it won a legal case forcing the South African government to grant them access to information about GMO decision making in SA. We urge you to support our work in SA- to stop the onslaught of GMOs, the march of the Green Revolution in Africa, and the Biowatch court case.
African Centre for Biosafety