Worldwatch cozies up to the Gates Foundation and AGRA
This is the first of a three-part series about our visit to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and AGRA grantees in Kenya.
We visited the headquarters of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Nairobi, Kenya, this week. The organization, which began in 2006 with a $150 million grant from both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which is one of the organizations supporting our Nourishing the Planet project), has some pretty ambitious—and controversial—goals for agriculture in Africa.
As we walked into the building, I couldn’t help but think to myself that many of my friends and colleagues in the sustainable agriculture community would think that I was walking into the belly of the beast, so to speak. Try googling AGRA—and in addition to the organization’s website, you’ll find pages and pages of criticism about them from groups like GRAIN, Food First, and The Oakland Institute. But as part of our research for State of the World 2011, we thought we had to see—and hear—for ourselves what AGRA program representatives had to say about their work.