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The Guardian Highlights G8 New Alliance For Food Security And Nutrition

The Guardian released a series of articles on the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, including an interactive on the 10 African countries that made a commitment, articles on the controversy surrounding the initiative, and individual articles highlighting Malawi, Ghana, and Tanzania.

The Guardian: The G8 and the fight for the future of African farming — interactive
“As part of the New Alliance, 10 African governments have signed up to change dozens of laws, policies and regulations to make their countries more attractive to the private sector. Collectively, they have made more than 200 commitments, including the overhaul of seed and tax laws and the setting aside of hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for commercial investors…” (Provost et al., 2/18).

The Guardian: Ten African countries and their G8 New Alliance commitments
The Guardian highlights 10 countries in Africa and their commitments to the G8 New Alliance. Highlighted countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania (Provost, 2/18).

The Guardian: G8 New Alliance condemned as new wave of colonialism in Africa
“A landmark G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty has been damned as a new form of colonialism after African governments agreed to change seed, land and tax laws to favor private investors over small farmers…” (Provost et al., 2/18).

The Guardian: Aid to Africa: private sector investment becomes new priority
“Rich countries are in the midst of a major reshuffle of aid priorities as more turn towards the private sector and look to fund business opportunities in poor countries. Investors have increasingly targeted African farmland since the 2008 food, fuel, and financial crises. Grow Africa, a ‘partnership platform’ which helped to gather companies’ commitments under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, said there had been a ‘historic shift’ in the level of investment on the continent in 2012…” (Tran et al., 2/18).

The Guardian: Malawi’s small farmers kept in the dark about G8 New Alliance
“…Malawi announced its was joining the G8 initiative in June last year, promising a range of policy commitments and legislative changes to make the country more attractive to private investors and boost its agricultural output. The changes are to be rolled out between December 2013 and the end of 2018, but most should come into effect over the next two years…” (Ford, 2/18).

The Guardian: Ghana hopes G8 New Alliance will end long history of food insecurity
“Despite Ghana’s large tracts of fertile land, the west African country has a long history of food insecurity. Millions in the south are no longer at risk, but the number of vulnerable people in the more arid north has increased in recent years. The government says that is why Ghana became one of the first six African countries to sign up to the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in 2012. Under the initiative, the country will focus on five crops: cowpea, maize, cassava, rice and yam…” (Hirsch, 2/18).

The Guardian: Tanzania: ‘large-scale farming turns small farmers into mere laborers’
The Guardian speaks with Zitto Kabwe, chair of the Tanzanian parliament’s public accounts committee, on the G8 New Alliance, where “[h]e insists that small farmers need to be supported and involved in the process from the beginning, given access to social security schemes such as pensions and health insurance, and empowered to form strong local organizations which can defend their rights in negotiations with companies. ‘That,’ he said, ‘would be transformational'” (Provost, 2/18).

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