The 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week has been held in Accra this week July 15-20. Many of the people attending Science Week are good people with very good intentions. They want to develop African agriculture and make sure no one goes hungry. Many of the sessions listed in the agenda appear very relevant. For example, there are sessions to discuss ways to have a more gender sensitive approach to agriculture, improving access to micro-finance for small holder farmers, exploration of how ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) can assist in promoting more sustainable and productive food production.
Despite this, we have a deep concern that our efforts in sub-Saharan Africa to use ‘science’ for the benefit for a more climate smart, resilient and productive agriculture, that improves food nutrition of small scale farmers in particular, is being heavily distorted and influenced by well-funded information campaigns of the big agro-chemical companies, such as Syngenta, Monstanto, Dupont, Bayer, and more. Many agricultural organizations in Africa, such as AGRA, FARA in Ghana, and their partners, are generously funded by these giant corporations, by the governments that host and sponsor them, and by the foundations such as Gates and Rockefeller that invest in them.