Keeping Africa on the brink of starvation

“Incredibly, this looming catastrophe is due to policies and programs that have been officially adopted and deliberately implemented by the very UN agencies that are now crying loudest about the horrific situation.” “Agroecology represents eco-imperialism at its worst.”
– Paul Driessen

“Billions of desert locusts are devastating East African crops and grasslands at the rate of 400 million pounds of vegetation a day!” writes Paul Driessen. “And yet, in this age of modern agriculture, pesticides and airplanes, people living there have been reduced to battling this recurrent invasion with “time-tested” methods like banging on metal buckets and waving blankets – or “more advanced” methods like hand-held or truck-mounted sprayers, tear gas and machine guns.”

“A primary reason this plague of locusts has overwhelmed East Africa – indeed, perhaps THE primary reason – is that the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, other UN agencies and multiple environmentalist NGOs have been extolling and imposing “agroecology” on Africa. This highly politicized “movement” rabidly opposes hybrid seeds, synthetic insecticides and fertilizers, biotechnology, and even mechanized equipment like tractors! Acceptance of its tenets and restrictions has become a condition for poor farmers getting seeds and other assistance, and their countries and local communities getting development loans and food aid.

“My article this week exposes agroecology for what it really is, and calls for reforms.”


Keeping Africa on the brink of starvation

UN and EU government agencies – and tax-exempt NGOs – have brought a plague of locusts

Paul Driessen

Billions of desert locusts have descended again on East Africa. Crawling first, then sprouting wings and flying in hungry hoards of 40-150 million or more, they are devastating crops and threatening tens of millions of people with lost livelihoods and starvation. This latest locust plague, says the United Nations, is the worst in 70 years for Kenya, the worst in 25 years for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

Locust swarms can blanket scores or hundreds of square miles at a time, travel 80 miles a day, and consume more than 400 million pounds of vegetation daily, Africa Fighting Malaria cofounder Richard Tren notes. The insects increase their numbers logarithmically, meaning numbers can be 500 times higher in six months. In Ethiopia, on January 9, a massive swarm nearly brought down a Boeing 737 jetliner.

Many fear the voracious insects could soon reach croplands in South Sudan, Uganda, and even Asia.

Despite past history, UN Food and Agricultural Organization officials say this is an “unprecedented threat” to food security, one “of international dimensions.” It’s “a far more serious emergency than we had earlier anticipated,” an African official said. “Please do not wait to act,” FAO Deputy-Director-General Helena Semedo pleaded at a February 7 gathering of “international experts” and African leaders.

Desperate Africans are responding with “time-tested” methods: whistling and shouting loudly, banging on metal buckets, waving blankets and sticks, crushing the bugs – perhaps even roasting and eating them, under UN-approved nutrition programs. In Eritrea, they are using “more advanced” methods: hand-held and truck-mounted sprayers. In Kenya, police are firing machine guns and tear gas into the swarms!

Fenitrothion is a highly effective pesticide against locust swarms. But only in Ethiopia, it seems, are they spraying pesticides from small airplanes. Fenitrothion supplies are extremely limited – and aerial spraying is too expensive for cash-strapped countries, too dangerous in areas wracked by radical Muslim insurgencies, and minimally effective against such massive swarms with so few available aircraft. And it takes days for pesticide-phobic farmers to move cattle and goats out of areas that could be sprayed.

In this era of incredible modern agricultural and insect control technologies, when American farmers get 3-5 times more crop yields per acre than 50 years ago­­ – how is it possible that Africa remains perpetually on the brink of starvation? That Africa faces yet another locust plague of biblical pharaoh proportions? That Africans must rely on absurd “time-tested,” almost totally ineffective locust control methods?

Incredibly, this looming catastrophe is due to policies and programs that have been officially adopted and deliberately implemented by the very UN agencies that are now crying loudest about the horrific situation.

“Agroecology” – a perverse combination of socialism, pseudo-ecology and primitive, anti-technology agriculture

For years now, the FAO, UN Development Programme and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have been working in cahoots with some of the most radical environmentalist pressure groups on Earth to devise and impose “agroecology” – a perverse combination of socialism, pseudo-ecology and primitive, anti-technology agriculture. The program is financed and advanced by the UN, by European governments via their development agencies and funding of environmentalist NGOs – and even by US taxpayers, who provide 22% of UN funding and underwrite grants to and tax-exempt status for environmentalist groups.

Agroecology is above all political. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less acreage. It rabidly opposes monoculture farming, hybrid seeds, synthetic/non-organic insecticides and fertilizers, biotechnology … and even mechanized equipment like tractors! It claims Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, which saved a billion people from starvation, did little more than put global food production “under the control of a few transnational corporations.”

Acceptance of agroecology tenets and restrictions has become a condition for poor farmers getting seeds, and their countries and local communities getting development loans and food aid. Mid-level bureaucrats get cushy jobs overseeing and propagandizing agroecology campaigns, while ruling elites get more opportunities to siphon off additional millions in international aid money. They still erect roadblocks to Golden Rice, which could save 2 million parents and children a year from blindness and death.

AgroEcology advocates extol “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming.” They promote “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” to the exclusion of knowledge, practices, technologies and equipment that have been developed in recent decades – and could help end Africa’s perpetual poverty, malnutrition, disease, joblessness and early death. They sow fear about pesticides and GM food.

Instead of transforming and modernizing African agriculture, the UN, FAO, UNEP, and radical groups like Food First, La Via Campesina, Greenpeace and IFOAM Organics International demand “culturally appropriate” food produced through “ecologically sound and sustainable methods,” as only they can twist those terms to serve their sick determination to negate and roll back human progress.

FAO Steering Committee member Miguel Altieri insists that all this will promote “resiliency” in African food production. The locust plague and imminent starvation underscore just how “resilient” agroecology has made East Africa. There’s barely enough food for good times, much less days of droughts and locusts. Modern agriculture could turn much of Africa into a bread basket – but the lunatics won’t allow it.

In 2012, Kenya banned biotech (GM or GMO) food, even as highly successful pilot projects were doubling and tripling crop yields for Kenyan and South African farmers, and ending plant diseases that had devastated papaya and cassava crops. Now, even as locusts wipe out staple food crops, rabid NGOs are pressuring Kenya’s Parliament to ban over 200 pesticides that have been approved as safe for crops, wildlife and people by Kenyan authorities and by regulators in the USA, Canada and other nations.

Meanwhile, well-fed Uhura Kenyatta, president of Kenya since 2013, resorts to the typical cop-out: the locust plague is the result of climate change. And Kenya’s Ministry of Health says, even if there is a severe famine and a threat to loss of life, “every effort” will be made to “source [imported] food from non-GMO sources, failing which emergency GM food may be allowed in.” Shades of Zambia 2002!

Adding to the insanity, in late January the United Nations claimed it needed “more than $70 million from donors” to address the locust crisis. For 2020, the UN budget is $3.1 billion; the FAO’s is $1 billion; the UNEP’s $790 million; and the Green Climate Fund has some $2 billion, plus pledges of some $6 billion.

Surely, these outfits can find a measly $70 million in these bloated treasuries to address a genuine humanitarian crisis – even if they have to claw it away from agroecology and similarly useless programs.

And what about the rights of African farmers who don’t want to practice agroecology, who want to use modern seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and machinery? Do the FAO and UN Human Rights Commission support those rights of self-determination? Why isn’t the HRC blasting the NGOs, EU countries and UN agencies for these human rights violations and the misery, malnutrition, disease and death they cause?

Agroecology burdens African farmers “with systems that my grandfather gave up on 125 years ago,” Indiana farmer and US Ambassador to the FAO and other Rome-based UN agencies Kip Tom told people attending the February 20 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum dinner. Whereas previous FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva was deeply involved in the agroecology movement, thankfully his replacement (Qu Dongyu of China) is a scientist who seems “willing to work with” American farmers and the Trump Administration “to feed a growing and hungry world,” Ambassador Tom added.

Agroecology represents eco-imperialism at its worst

Agroecology represents eco-imperialism at its worst. Under any fair and balanced application of their own beliefs and standards, today’s “woke” environmental, campus and progressive activists would charge the organizations imposing agroecology on Africa with eco-manslaughter. But that will never happen.

President Trump, the Agriculture Department and Congress should loudly and publicly stigmatize the FAO, UN and EU and their NGOs – and terminate any funding and tax exemptions that support agroecology. US agencies should devote their resources to rooting out this perverse system and helping Africa bring modern agriculture, disease control, health and living standards to its mistreated families.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power-black death and articles on environmental and human rights issues.


20 thoughts on “Keeping Africa on the brink of starvation”

  1. Keeping Africa on the brink of starvation is a wasted effort . Certainly not worth putting time and money into when natural forces and human nature could achieve the same thing on the cheap. If you mess with nature nature will mess with you.

  2. I remember when I was about 8 years old, learning about lemmings running off cliffs to their demise. The story stuck with me. How ironic, now it is over 70 years later, that I have come to realize that humans are the lemmings.

  3. Part of the UN sposored plan for Africa is to reduce the polpulation by natural means which can be intervented, but wont.
    The intent is rewild much of Africa, hence keeping the African at GDP substience levels. It makes it much easier to walk in and take over when the comming Glaciation starts and much of North America/Europe grows its 140K year long Ice Cap again.
    Wasnt DDT good, perhaps Africa needs it recreating.

  4. On top of ‘agroecology’ afflicting Africa to the North, ‘socialism’ is afflicting South Africa, with the ANC government being determined to amend our Constitution to allow land (and other stuff) to be expropriated without compensation. The idea is to give every ‘African’ his own little plot of land without spending money on it. After all, all of the plots the ANC bought (and usually gave to cronies) aren’t actually being farmed any more!
    Oh yes, the cure for starvation is to reduce the area being farmed…

  5. “Incredibly”, Paul Dreissen seems not to have heard of the UN IPCC’s Agendas 2021 and 2030.

    Everything seems to be proceeding according to schedule.

    • Incredibly – Paul is well aware of the UNs desire for a communist world government. Which would resource manage the Wests economy into oblivion.

  6. There are a great many things that need researched: What has happened to all the winged insects? Why are ground insects disappearing? What has happened to 25% of the birds? What about the apparent high extinction rate of animals? What are these great crop yields doing to the quality of the soil? I am a Conservative and all for the farmer, but those questions need answers!

    • Willard, any chance of any evidence for your statements about extensions?
      Like – you know – a few links to scientific studies rather than UN propaganda.

      • Marshal Dillion, Marshal Dillion, that’s what it looks like when yur ‘wanderin’ ab-out and around ferching fer bugs and birds up here now… quite a site and great pics – must be GFs — WUWT “technocratic” request… for the larger bugs it sounds like something Dr.(s) Patrick Willard Wood or Moore could answer or just search:
        bird insect decline – the ranch ducks are even whining now in the summer, but the cows are likin’ it real good… and there’s alot fewer to sweep up in the solari room – it looks like it’s gonna be a lot worse than just a transfurniture blowout “transpocalypse now” or gomorrah or some armageddon or other coming soon .. should be interesting however it turns out. Some of the pics look like home… hope it’s same same fer ya down in Lubbockianville.

  7. Paul Driessen is barking up the wrong tree.

    I have studied genetics, learned how to produce genetic modifications, and it is for that reason I oppose GMOs. As much as we think we know about DNA, the methods we use to modify genes is so imprecise that no one knows what unintended results come out. Do those unintended results include deadly poisons that, like tobacco, take decades to have their effects? Nobody knows.

    Meanwhile, some of the touted benefits of GMOs are not showing up in real life. Take for example, golden rice, . Genetic Modification is not the same as producing hybrid crops.

    Does Mr. Driessen know that some of the most productive farms on an acre by acre basis are the Amish farms? Or would he prefer what is happening in India, where thousands of farmers end up in a debt trap to the big multi-nationals and many commit suicide as the only way to get out from under the debt trap? Africa has a lot of arable land that has not been put to the plow, wouldn’t the best solutions be to get the U.N. and NGOs out of the way so that farmers can grow their crops?

  8. This is scary.

    With America and European Women refusing to have babies, there needs to be more “workers”.

    Africa is the best place to get the people that Europe will need to keep their nations going.

    America can easily take in 200 million Africans, and Europe can easily take in 250 Million Africans who will help the Nations of Europe.

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