Knowledge for Development

Successful African alternatives to corporate ‘green revolutions’


Date: 03/05/2011


This article is part of the Journal Development’s issue on the future of agriculture ( This article proposes African alternatives that honour farmers' rights and agricultural biodiversity and still permit sustainable food production.

Andrew Mushita and Carol Thompson argue that while the ‘green revolution for Africa’ promotes private foreign ownership of genetically modified seeds and focuses on increased yields of a few crops, African alternatives honour farmers' rights and agricultural biodiversity, through innovative legislation and protocols, in order to increase sustainable food production.

The authors explain how the global agricultural crises have affected the African continent. Starting with exploring the dud that are agrofuels and the profound multi-faceted market failures of agricultural corporate policy, the authors then move to examine impacts of the piracy of African biodiversity wealth. At a later point, they carry their analysis to the African alternatives “that are working on the ground”, and focus on the Farmers’ rights international principle and the African Union Model Law for the protection of rights of local communities, farmers and breeders.

Pambazuka republished recently the article at

(Source: Pambazuka, 24 Mar. 2011; Photo credit: Neil Palmer CIAT)

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