Seed Control: The Business of Agriculture in Africa

A Globalized Agribusiness-controlled Agriculture.

The Green Revolution purported to solve the world hunger problem to a major degree in Africa was merely a chemical revolution.

As Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s:

‘If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population.’

Let’s go back in time, say a few decades. It’s the early 1950’s and John H. Davis had been Assistant Agriculture Secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower. Davis left Washington in 1955 and went to the Harvard Graduate School of Business. In 1956, Davis wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in which he declared that “the only way to solve the so-called farm problem once and for all, and avoid cumbersome government programs, is to progress from agriculture to agribusiness.”

But when did farming ever become a problem? People have been planting food in their backyards for centuries, why would that be something that needs to be changed? Let’s follow the money trail shall we…

The Green Revolution was based on proliferation of new hybrid seeds in developing markets. What’s important to know about hybrid seeds is their lack of reproductive capacity. They are genetically protected against multiplication, with a significantly lower seed count than that of the first generation. Compared to normal open pollinated species whose seed gave yields similar to its parents, hybrids would have to be bought year by year, again and again to produce high yields.

What does this mean?

It means farmers in Africa had to become dependent on foreign, mostly US agribusiness and petro-chemical company inputs. This was a decades-long, carefully planned process that finally came to fruition. No accident was also the depopulation of peasants who were forced to flee into shantytown slums around the cities in desperate search for work. This is a typical example of how farming has been boycotted by big business. Not only are farmers forced to buy new seeds but also new chemicals, to yield effectively. But the mono-culture cultivation of new hybrid seed varieties decreased soil fertility and yields over time.

When apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela took over in 1994, 87 per cent of South Africa’s agricultural land was owned by whites. No doubt an emotive issue across southern Africa where the example of Zimbabwe looms like a dark and marauding cloud. About 3.1 million hectares of land have been transferred to poor blacks, less than 2 per cent of available agricultural land. Yet small peasant farmers could not afford the chemical and other modern inputs and had to borrow money. Sometimes they end up selling their land, hoping to find work in the city. Even with soft loans from government agencies, growing subsistence crops gave way to the production of cash crops. I didn’t understand the full impact of GMO’s on our ecosystem until I watched this presentation by Stephanie Seneff, highly recommended.

The Era of Genetic Modification

The Green Revolution was in actual fact a ‘Gene Revolution’ as Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway termed it several years ago, the spread of industrial agriculture and commercial inputs including GMO patented seeds. Sadly Africa is the next target in the US-government campaign to spread GMO worldwide. A worthy and ideal candidate for the big corporations that love us so much. Monsanto, who has a strong foothold in South Africa’s seed industry, both GMO and hybrid, has conceived of an ingenious smallholders’ programme,  introducing a green revolution package to small scale poor farmers, coupled with Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. Interesting. The same seeds of doubt who has activist like Stephanie Seneff and Vandana Shiva so very pissed off.

Fuck AGRA

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa is an American concept that is chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. In his acceptance speech in a World Economic Forum event in Cape Town South Africa in June 2007, Kofi Annan stated:

‘I accept this challenge with gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign.’

In addition the AGRA board numbers a South African, Strive Masiyiwa who is a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. It includes Sylvia M. Mathews of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mamphela Ramphele, former Managing Director of the World Bank (2000 – 2006); Rajiv J. Shah of the Gates Foundation; Nadya K. Shmavonian of the Rockefeller Foundation; Roy Steiner of the Gates Foundation. In addition, an Alliance for AGRA includes Gary Toenniessen the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.

To fill out the lineup, the Programmes for AGRA includes Peter Matlon, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation; Joseph De Vries, Director of the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems and Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation. Like the old failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, the new Africa Green Revolution is clearly a high priority of the Rockefeller Foundation.

I don’t know about you but I see a whole lot of Rockefeller’s in there, the family that highhandedly managed to enslave 99% of humanity to money. Well done Rockefellers, you are oh so powerful. Oh and fuck you Bill Gates and your GMO Bananas, you can go shove them somewhere sideways.

yeh

Bio-technology

The introduction of modern American agricultural technology has seen a decrease in crop yields and an increase in disease ever since it’s been introduced. GMO is now banned in several countries across the globe after the safety of these modified crops were called into question. I don’t know about you, but if something is BANNED in another country, especially when it comes to food, I get an uneasy feeling. Let’s add our name to this already amazing list and take back our food supply. The Rockefeller Foundation has been working for years to promote, largely without success, projects to introduce GMOs into the fields of Africa. They have backed research that supports the applicability of GMO cotton in the Makhathini Flats in South Africa.

 

urban
The Real Green Revolution: Urban Gardens Transform Traditional Cityscapes

Farmers who grow organic produce don’t use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Examples of organic farming practices include using natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds. These farming practices are in no way out of date and have worked for centuries. What’s needed is education around the ecosystem we live in, how can it be used to harness good farming practices? Are there bugs that can naturally be deterred by other animals. How do we introduce these animals into the environment? I believe everything was created to further a specific cause, even GMO’s. The real revolution will not include the Green Revolution, I envision it taking place in people’s gardens. With most things, it starts at home. Let’s go Urban!

Love is where the stomach is, so eat organic, love a lot and appreciate that everything takes time, especially your food.

Sources:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/doomsday-seed-vault-in-the-arctic-2/23503

http://naturalsociety.com/gates-foundation-shells-10-million-fund-gmo-banana-experiment/

Africa needs Ubuntu like the Desert needs the Rain

I’m having coffee at a coffee shop around the corner and boy do they serve coffee well. “Shosholoza” is playing in the background and the soft noises of quick and confident fingers hitting their keyboards is a constant reminder that I have so much to be grateful for. The word Shosholoza is a combination of both Ndebele (of Zimbabwe) and Zulu (of South Africa) words meaning “to push forward, endeavor, or strive.” It is said that the song helped to lessen the workload of gold and diamond minders back in the day and it help them create a rhythm to work to through the long and hard days. Although I was raised in a middle-class family I am now a somewhat struggling millennial, finding myself in the same boat as others my age. Yet I eat everyday, mostly good organic food I buy at farmer’s markets (although I wish I could grow my own) and I am able to work for a living, earning just enough to get by. I have an education and I kind of know what I want. Those are things not everyone has and I am especially thankful seeing as South Africa’s wealth inequality is among the highest in the world. A state that embodies the exact opposite of what Ubuntu means A person is a person through people. Is this way of life achievable or simply a Utopia, too good to be true?

My dreams of a shared economy and people living together in harmony gets bashed pretty much everyday when I look at the news (that’s why I just don’t) and it makes me feel like a weird pseudo witch looking for something that is unattainable. But my hope in humanity was once again revitalized as I heard about Mark Shuttleworth’s suing the state of South Africa for illegal taxation. Did you know South Africa is registered as a corporation? The “REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA” is registered as a corporation on the US Securities & Exchange, among other well recognized corporations like Anglo American, Old Mutual, ABSA and Standard Bank. Interesting! Who is the CEO of this corporation? I doubt it’s Zuma, he might just be one of the greatest and most successful puppets around, if you think Zuma is incredibly stupid, well then you’re wrong. This guy is racking it, laughing all the way to the bank. Look, in no way do I want to be a negative Nelly, but I care deeply about social issues and people are waking up to these social inequalities and are demanding a better way of you know…life.

Shuttleworth is known as that guy who bought himself a trip to space as the first South African to do so. He created Ubuntu, an open source software with limited proprietary components, meaning that users are encouraged to upload it, improve it, upload those improvements, and make the world—or, rather, the computer—a better place. But it didn’t reach the potential it could have because well…free stuff doesn’t make anyone any money. And sadly we have too many non-visionaries who can only see as far as they can smell money. Oh and Fuck You Thomas Edison. Read more on why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek alive, then you’ll catch my hater drift.

But anyways, back to the state of affairs we’re in. Ubuntu destroys the central idea of any capitalist society, in which we are all conceived as lone lions chasing down tasty four-legged treats, and well if you’re too slow, you won’t get to snag that delicious Kudu. Too bad for you, you probably didn’t have the right mindset. No shit! The monetary system is a made-up hoax that has forced people into slaving away their lives for little or no money and if you don’t have an education, well then you’re going to have a really bad time. For those lucky few who have been able to divorce themselves from this state,kudos to you. The present lot of multi-hued middle and upper classes live in a totally different universe from the have-nots. There is hope though, people my age, no matter what hue are seeing the worthless struggle of separation. “It fills me with a lot of pride in South Africa and in my lifetime has helped me to connect with my own sense of what it is to be from here. I remember my first experiences of it being during the 1995 world cup and that it was something black and white people sang together. Unity.”-Edward O’Reilly, age 24.

It’s no wonder the have-nots have become totally disenfranchised from the system. The system doesn’t work for them, the corporation of South Africa doesn’t work for you. Once you realize that my brothers and sisters, you have a distinct advantage in life. The governments only job is to rebuild a patronage network that benefits a narrow, politically connected elite at the expense of the country’s taxpayers. It’s a hard realisation to wake up to…no doubt. It fucking sucks. Yet let us not cry over things that can not change but let’s steer them in a different direction. If you’re thinking of a revolution with guns and war, then please, go away. The revolution will be fought with love and I will be on the forefront of that battle field, giving out hugs and holding on tightly to my dreams. I am not the only one! John Lennon would agree with me.

Back in court, Shuttleworth and his lawyers went after SARB. The Pretoria high court ruled against him, so he went to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The ruling?

The SCA held that a founding principle of Parliamentary democracy is that there should be no taxation without representation and that the executive branch of government should not itself be entitled to raise revenue but should rather be dependent on the taxing power of Parliament. The Court stated that the levy raised revenue for the State in that it brought in ten per cent of the value of any capital in excess of R750,000 exported out of the country, into the National Revenue Fund. Whilst in force, it raised approximately R2.9 billion. The SCA found therefore that the levy thus fell within the category of ‘taxes, levies or duties’ contemplated by sections 75 and 77 of the Constitution.

So Shuttleworth won and decided to take his R250 474 893,50 (plus interest) and give it to—us! The people of South Africa, aww yeah!

“I will commit the funds returned to me today by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state,” Shuttleworth said in a statement on his website. That’s not all. “The mandate of this trust will extend beyond South African borders, to address constitutional rights for African citizens at large, on the grounds that our future in South Africa is in every way part of that great continent.”

In an article on the Daily Maverick by RICHARD POPLAK  exclaims how: “The middle-class dream propagated by everyone from Nelson Mandela to Julius Malema is a chimera, and there isn’t a revolutionary in this country worthy of the name. Nonetheless, Mark Shuttleworth, billionaire denizen of the Isle of Man, one-time space cowboy who gazed down upon the little blue marble that is Earth, has given us a glimpse of the future. He’s reminded us that we are networked, that our lives are open-sourced, that any nation is a software programme that only works if the code above and below is properly rendered. He’s reminded us that South Africa has ideals as native as the soil, and that perhaps its time to start digging them up again.

And while you’re at it, go out there and sue the government. It’s on him.”

With that said, let’s rewire some minds!

What do you think friend? I smell a good time, or is that Mary-Jane? Well they do go hand-in-hand don’t they…Viva South Africa. Our differences is what unites us, please don’t forget that, the world would be terribly boring without all the colours of life and hues of people we get to appreciate every day.

Hemp for Africa

“Symptoms are a result of prohibition” William Wallace from Below The Lion said. The law once said it was illegal for African people to be in the city or suburbs at night. We have created a legal framework that made it illegal to grow or use this plant in any way. But times are truly changing.

As Medicinal Marijuana is being legalized across the globe, we can’t claim ignorance anymore.

“It was prohibited on racial grounds, it’s non-toxic and has never killed anyone.”

Miss Mamazana from the CYPSA is so passionate, yet she doesn’t make any valid points. She even says sugar is “more healthier” than Marijuana. Miss Mamazana is blocking all possibilities of an honest open minded debate.

In February the Medical Innovation Bill was created and presented to parliament by Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Member of Parliament (MP) Mario Oriani-Ambrosini. He was 53-years-old when he passed away and his dying wish was that marijuana should be made legal.

The very first mass produced car, Ford was in fact made completely of hemp! In 1941, he  built a car that contained cellulose fibers derived from hemp, sisal, and wheat straw. The plastic was said to be lighter than steel and 10 times stronger than steel! Watch the video as Ford demonstrated its strength.

The benefits of growing Hemp are endless.

“Plastics can be derived from plant cellulose, and since hemp is the greatest cellulose producer on Earth (hemp hurds can be 85% cellulose), it only makes sense to make non-toxic, biodegradable plastic from hemp and other organics, instead of letting our dumps fill up with refuse.” Read more on hemp plastics.

Using hemp as an industrial crop will have a tremendous impact on our economy. The hemp plant has 50,000 known uses and benefits.
These are just a few of the countries currently growing industrial hemp. Which can be made into anything from clothes, textiles and plastics, to oils that powers our cars and homes…

  • China
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • North Korea
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom

There are many myths surrounding the use of hemp, find many questions answered here. Just think about the possibilities.

“People say “Well you can abuse marijuana”. Well shit you can abuse cheeseburgers too. Ya know, you don’t go around closing Burger King because you can abuse something. I can take a fuckin’ fork and jam it in my eyeball. Does that mean forks should be illegal? Ya know, I could jump off a bridge, should we outlaw bridges? Lets Nerf the world!”

– Joe Rogan

Hemp loves our world, let’s show it some love by giving it the respect it deserves.

Tony Budden of ‘Hemporium SA’ – The Global Benefits of HEMP. South Africa is already busy experimenting with growth trials of industrial hemp, let’s keep the grass rolling.

Ebola in the Western Media

As flights are cancelled and hysteria starts reigning it’s ugly head from under the media’s many fine-tuned clutches, it’s time to look at the real disease affecting all of us: Disinformation.

Ebola is a pandemic. It’s already killed thousands of Africans and the first cases of people affected overseas have been reported. The epidemic has reached a death-toll of 3,439 out of a total of 7,492 cases in West Africa and the United States as of Oct. 1, the World Health Organization said last week.

Sierra Leone is a country heavily affected by Ebola right now where 121 deaths were recorded in a single day! Since the disease appeared in the West African country more than four months ago, the international community has been quite slow in their response to the outbreak. If the international community acted as the disease broke out it would have been contained, as has been the case in previous outbreaks.

Now that they’ve finally responded, this doesn’t come without the hype, bias and sensationalism the Western Media is perpetrating. Everyone is grasping for information but we don’t need more fear-mongering. We’re all scared, and that’s okay!

As we know development is a huge issue in Africa but this is especially true, when the West reports it. Yet our continued development seems to be aiding their development and we see it daily in reports, articles and the like. But the way Africa is reported on, always seems to have a ‘victimized’ approach. It’s a never ending nauseating melodramatic narrative perpetrated by the western community. They are the ones telling African stories. “Oh look, African farmers are dying of hunger, let’s tell other people what we can do to help them and hopefully make some profit in the process!”

Africa doesn’t need that.

We want to tell our own stories.

We’re not given the opportunity to tell these stories, to own our own narratives by issues that are effecting us.

Africans need to be listened to and share their ideas on how issues should be resolved. Even when it comes to Ebola, actually especially then!

Don’t forget that the West needs us. Our Africa is home to some of the greatest places on this planet! Look at all the wildlife, the fauna, the flora surrounding us every day. But also don’t forget that Africa boasts a lot of profitable potential (oil, uranium, gold, diamonds, coal etc) and people. People are very profitable, especially when they are poor and everyone is looking to quickly fill their pockets. I see far too many Western narratives, that fundamentally exclude the real-life stories from people in Africa. “Let’s just set up a sustainable growth program that show we care, pocket change will do, heck they’re poor, they’ll be happy with anything.”

Right now the West doesn’t work for us, we work for them. That needs to change.

The last thing we want is for people to have irrational fears, the very thing the media seems to instill in people. Don’t know whom to believe? Wouldn’t it be better to hear from the people who are actually affected, not just a painted picture perpetrated by the Media. Fill in your own gaps! There’s paint everywhere, it’s your responsibility to find the truth.

What Africa needs is coordinated aid working hand in hand with the government to stop the spread of this disease.

WHO has developed detailed advice on Ebola infection prevention and control: So please do your research.

Don’t forget:

“Love is more contagious than Ebola”, as Russell Brand said.

Africa’s Pursuit for Free Energy

Since the dawn of time, man has been in pursuit for what will power his life on earth forever: free energy.

So why are we still driving smelly and expensive gas guzzlers that haven’t evolved fuel-wise in a century, yet we have bendable iPhones? It doesn’t add up. Of course the answers always lead to the same thing: Black Gold. Now that we are forced to rid ourselves of this addiction to fossil fuels, what powers will our leaders turn to?

Africa Won’t Rise to Nuclear

What is our obsession with using our earth’s history as fodder? Because that’s essentially what we’re doing, we’re stripping ourselves of our past and burning it. Did you know that already a mere hundred years ago, electric cars were quietly cruising along busy cities, hustling and bustling like the little spaceships they are. But where’d they all go?

Now that renewable energy comes at no extra costs and the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end, why is Zuma in talks with Russia again about introducing several new nuclear power plants? It’s true that South Africa faces immense energy problems, our coal dependence makes us one of the highest CO2 emitting countries per capita in the world. Will South Africa sell Energy to the rest of Africa at an even greater cost? Does Zuma want profit so badly he’s willing to sacrifice all of us, for money? When did this become okay? Since we can’t keep up with the demand of other countries’ energy needs, let alone our own, it is important for our leaders to see what options are out there, and no doubt there’s a lot to consider. Let’s make this abundantly clear though: Nuclear can never be 100% safe. In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein made the intriguing point that a large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter. With the advent of the atomic bomb and possible future annihilation, this quote from the physicist stands out the strongest.

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

It’s no secret that Africa faces many economic, political and social challenges, as does every other part on this planet. Our need and want for power is thus essential to our economic growth. Africa’s infrastructure is dismal and we can therefore not be proper advocators for atomic power. Until something has not been proven 100% safe to do, especially when it has the potential to wipe out all life on earth, it should be left in the cookie jar, sealed, forever. There is no trial and error.

If you haven’t quite realised just HOW terrible the international standards on nuclear safety are, watch Jon Oliver’s latest Last Week Tonight’s episode on Nuclear Weapons.

Silent Fukushima

There is a lot that can go wrong when it comes to free energy, as the world has seen again and again. Fukushima has happened almost four years ago. Since then the global news community has been quite quiet about it, it doesn’t take a lot of digging to see why: the situation is absolutely petrifying. Not only is the affected reactor core still heating, thousands of tons of radioactive water is still usurping into the Pacific Ocean every day.

We have seen two major scale nuclear plant catastrophes, Chernobyl and now Fukushima. Apparently the level of Fukushima’s radiation surpasses Chernobyl by double the amount. As of 2014, a peer reviewed estimate of the total was 340 to 800 PBq, with 80% falling into the Pacific ocean.

Silence is scary. So I ask this question out of the depths of my tormented soul: Why nuclear, why now and why here in Africa?

Climate for Change

Climatic disruptions will increase in size and permanence, meaning climate change is here to stay. Especially in Southern Africa the effects of climate change are expected to be the worst. All of our combined efforts should be invested in making sure new and renewable sources of energy find their way into our lives. They’re out there, don’t be fooled. It’s the transition and our markets that need to respond to our demand for safe, free energy. If ALL of us tell Zuma “NO”, only then will we be able to change the course this energy deal is going.

Also, another question I am asking myself is, “if we truly live in a democratic state, why wasn’t I allowed to vote on this?” I didn’t sign off on Zuma’s mansion, I would never see my tax money invested that way. As a people I know how disenfranchised we have become from the system, we don’t see ourselves as a part of it and thus fail to cross that imaginary line that will give us the power we need: The Power of the Spoken Word backed by the Power of Intention… We all seem separate from each other sometimes, we even feel separate from ourselves, but can I tell you something: There is no line. Fact is everything’s going to be okay. The earth will be fine, humans might not be around to see that, but that’s also okay. What is not okay is continuing the way we are right now, letting others decide what is right for us. When has that ever really worked out for anyone? Don’t be bullied into silence. My gut tells me atomic power should not be messed with and it is said that feelings are fact.

Thomas Jefferson: “Every generation should have a revolution.”

Just look at the 450 000 people who united to march for climate change just a few weeks ago, the people have the true power and we know this. If anything, South Africa should have learnt by now that repeating mistakes that occurred in the past, leads us on a road to nowhere, fast.

Our very own Elon Musk, born in Johannesburg and now creator and owner of Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, is making breakthroughs of great significance in the clean energy sector. If you haven’t hear about him yet, it is high time you do your research!

Also, check out these 100’s of real world (cities, countries, institutions, etc.) committed to going 100% – at .

And let’s not forget that the environmental crisis is an international disaster. There are people who do not care about you or me or about the future of our planet. These will be the first people who will use this “international disaster” to advocate and unlock a new world order. What that is and how it will unfold is yet to see, keep your eyes peeled.

So I ask this of you, please write something small advocating your stand on this. It does matter; everything we do has an effect, the goal is to make a big ripple.

 

Please leave a comment and write your concerns to the Minister of Energy:

Ms Tina Joemat-PetterssonMinistry: Gauteng

Telephone number: +27 12 406 7612
Fax number: +27 12 323 5849Ministry: Cape Town

Telephone number: +27 21 469 6425
Fax number: +27 21 465 5980
The personal assistant to the minister:
Ms Rhoda Mackier
Mail : Private Bag X 96, Pretoria,0001
Street : 192 Visagie Street, Corner Paul Kruger & Visagie Street,
Telephone Number : (012) 406 7612 / (021) 469 6425
Fax Number : (+27)12 323 5849/ (021) 465 5980
Cell Number : +27) 72 587 6591
eMail : Rhoda.Mackier@energy.gov.za