2016-10-11

Some of the G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition projects aiming to combat hunger and poverty in Africa go directly against the interests of the smallholder farmers they're supposed to benefit.

Tanzania is one of the partner countries for the G8's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. A development initiative that wants to improve productivity,  and aims to lift fifty million people in Africa out of hunger and poverty through improving value chains, the market, and public-private partnerships. The initiative is actively supported by the EU, the UK, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation amongst others.

However some of the New Alliance projects prove to go directly against the interests of the smallholder farmers they're supposed to benefit: adaptations in seed legislation that undermine farmers' own traditional seed systems, aggressive promotion of inputs and pesticides without adequate instructions on uses or there negative effects, and arrangements that tie them into problematic repayment schedules.

One New Alliance company is a British-based company with tax money from Great Britain and Norway. It is touted as a 'model plantation'  but actually has ongoing conflicts and very poor relationships with surrounding villagers. They allege middle management are abusing employees, perpetrating extensive sexual abuse, and extorting bribes.

The bigger picture is the collateral damage of these investment templates: increasing conflicts over land and resources between pastoralists and smallholder farmers are proof that there's actually no available unused land.

This project was funded through Journalismfund.eu's Flanders Connects Continents grant programme.

Ebe Daems

Ebe Daems (°1987) is a freelance journalist writing for Belgian media outlets.

Thembi Mutch

Thembi Mutch is a global studies research associate at Roehampton and Sussex Universities.