The G8’s “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa”, established in 2012, is pushing further the corporate agenda on African agriculture. As ofJune 2013, cooperation frameworks have been concluded with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania.
All of them aim at improving the business environment for private sector investment, and most of these countries made commitments to pass and implement regionally harmonised seed legislation, including plant variety protection. Regional harmonisation will allow seed providers to acquire plant variety monopoly rights in all member states of economic communities such as ECOWAS, COMESA or SADC. The model is the European seed legislation, which for many decades has allowed in the market only varieties fulfilling the UPOV defined criteria of distinctness, uniformity and stability. Farm saved vegetable seeds have almost disappeared from the EU.
“Modernising African Agriculture: Who Benefits?” is a petition initiated by the African Center for Biosafety, signed by 191 organisations, networks and individuals, which points out how the G8 pushes the agenda of multinationals into African agriculture, at the expense of smallholder farmers, rural communities, and the food sovereignty of African citizens.