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Cargill: Beneficiary of New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

Cargill supports the “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition” which was established in 2012 under the US-presidency of the then G8. Their members, African governments and the private sector set up the goal to lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty by 2022 by means of more private investment. To achieve this, African governments are supposed to “develop or revise policies that will facilitate responsible private investment in agriculture in support of smallholder farmers”1, while companies define their unbinding plans for investment in respective countries in so-called Letters of Intent, and report on the progress of their projects2. G8 countries provide aid money.

The New Alliance received fierce criticism from NGOs who said that it was favoring the private sector and opening the partner countries for the purchase of land, commodities and the commercial distribution of seeds and fertilizers3. After negotiations with private companies, African governments had to commit to Cooperation Frameworks in which they announced specific policy measures4. As part of their commitment, Mozambique for example has to “Systematically cease distribution of free and unimproved seeds” and to “Allow for private sector accreditation for inspection”. They will also establish regulations to “authorize communities to engage in partnerships through leases or sub-leases.”5 These steps are surely of interest to Cargill which signed two Letters of Intent in Mozambique and Nigeria6, and highlighted the importance of effective land use and property rights in Africa to fight the food crisis7.

  1. New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (2014): About: Partners (accessed 24.09.2014) []
  2. New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (2014): About: Commitments (accessed 24.09.2014) []
  3. Global Policy Forum (2013): Is the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutritions suitable for combating poverty? 18 July; Provost, C. et. al. (2014): G8 New Alliance condemned as new wave of colonialism in Africa; The Guardian, 18 February; actionaid (2014): The Great Land Heist; Oxfam (2014): For whose Benefit?; 22 May; FIAN (2014): G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa: A critical Analysis from a human rights perspective; World Development Movement (2014): Carving up a continent; Misereor (2013): Ernährungs-Allianz der G8 ist “Angriff auf afrikanische Bauern” (accessed 24.09.2014) and more. []
  4. Grain (2013): The G8 and land grabs in Africa; 11 March (accessed 24.09.2014) []
  5. New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Cooperation Framework Mozambique, Annex 1, p.4 (accessed 24.09.2014) []
  6. No details available; New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Summary of New Alliance Letters of Intent 2012-2013, p. 10, 12 (accessed 24.09.2014) []
  7. Paul Conway, vice chairman of Cargill, in an interview with Al Jazeera, 16 September 2012, appr. minute 8 (accessed 24.09.2014) []