As African heads of state travel to Dakar for the African Development Bank Group’s Dakar 2 African Food Summit, 83 African and international civil society organisations have signed a collective statement opposing the summit’s “climate smart agriculture” approach.
Although it sounds like a solution to the climate crisis, climate smart agriculture can include a range of destructive practices such as large-scale monoculture, factory farming, or GMOs. Climate smart agriculture strengthens the very agribusiness and seed companies responsible for destroying farmers’ livelihoods and agricultural biodiversity. It contributes to, rather than solves, the climate crisis.
For example, the summit promotes the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA). The African Centre for Biodiversity has explained how WEMA aims to build a private-sector seed industry in Africa and spread hybrid maize varieties. Both Monsanto and BASF have donated to the WEMA project.
Instead, participants should support the organizing initiatives of African farmers and organizations fighting for food sovereignty and agroecology, and those who are fighting back against land grabbing by agribusiness and private investors.