Mangu Killings: What Really Happened (CONTD)

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In 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation launched the Alliance for a Green

Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Upon its launch, AGRA was fully armed with high-yield commercial seeds, synthetic fertilisers, and pesticides; thus was praised as being able to deliver Africa into its own Green Revolution in crop production to reduce hunger and poverty.

At this point, there is a looming question: is Africa a desert? Does Africa not have arable soil to produce her crops to support her population? If the Asian countries are not so starved in spite of the type of soil, why Africa? Desert zone in Africa is not to a significant degree; so what is the cause of the famine that made the need for a ‘Green Revolution’ so important? Ireport247.com is still finding out the answers to these questions. In the meantime, we are focused on AGRA.

As a result of the availability of the resources mentioned above, AGRA was viewed as the saviour of Africa; therefore it funds various projects, and lobbies African

governments for the development of policies and market structures that promote the adoption of Green Revolution technology packages.

Undoubtedly, AGRA received contributions of nearly USD-$1 billion, the highest being from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries. In addition, several African governments supported the campaign in the form of Input Subsidy Programmes (FISPs) for farmers to buy the hybrid seeds and synthetic fertilisers AGRA promoted.

What the government missed out however, was the fact that these fertilisers possess ingredients that end up harming the soil, and the seeds, apart from being patented, have been modified such that farmers can not get more seeds from the harvest. They have life span, and once the life span expires, farmers have to go back to the source to purchase more seeds.

Despite the huge funding and resources involved, including contributions from governments where taxpayers’ money was used to further this initiative, thus far, AGRA has failed to alleviate hunger and poverty in Africa. After 14 years in operation, AGRA is nearing its self-declared deadline. The desperate need for solution led to the TELA MAIZE PROJECT.

What is the TELA MAIZE PROJECT?

Despite not being an African, the ‘need for Bill Gates to solve Africa’s problems for Africans’ gave birth to The TELA Maize Project. Approved in Nigeria early January 2024, TELA MAIZE PROJECT is a public-private partnership that is working towards initiating the commercialisation of transgenic drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The word “TELA” is derived from the Latin word TUTELA which means “Protection.” The TELA Maize Project is built on the progress made from years of breeding work under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project.

WEMA’s purpose was to develop drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties, while TELA’s purpose is to see to the commercialisation of these maize varieties as well as other crops in Sub-Saharan Africa. On the contrary, Africa is not known to be a maize deficient continent. Mangu is a strong evidence. The project adopted both conventional advanced plant breeding and biotechnology in order to develop the maize varieties.

The TELA Project is a continuation of the transgenic WEMA component, with the long-term goal of making drought-tolerant maize and insect-protected maize varieties, also called TELA Maize, available royalty-free to small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

These genetically modified crops are to be given to farmers to farm and produce more reliable harvests under moderate drought conditions and protect maize, or crops generally, from insects.

Considering the several projects the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been funding around the world, one would get the impression that if Bill Gates had his way, the food in the future will little barely resemble what is on our plates today. Gates and his agribusiness industry partners intend to transform our food by transforming the source. But what happens if the farmers reject the genetically modified crops or even refuse to surrender their farm lands for the production of such?

Some of the findings by Ireport247 revealed that, in some countries, there are extant laws that subtly compel farmers to buy into these developments. Should they refuse, there are consequences; some are clearly stated in the law while others are underhanded methods such as hostile takeover of the farmlands or extermination of the farmers.

A section of the proposed African Union Protocol draft law, Section 60, which stipulates penalties, stated: “A farmer who willfully commits an offense is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than five thousand penalty units… or a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years and not more than fifteen years.” According to Mr. Biodun, the interpretation is : “you will be arrested for farming the same original seeds your lineage has been farming since bronze age.”

A perfect example of vicious method is the ongoing killings and bloodshed in Mangu. They resolve to killings, abduction and kidnapping. They forcefully take over their lands; they even erase some lands with a fire outbreak. The outcome is Food Insecurity, and ultimately famine.

Ireport247.com, while carrying out our research got the following comments from farmers who operate different scales of farming, as well as agriculture enthusiasts.

Here’s what a local farmer said: “I have been in the farming industry since 2017 and it’s not been encouraging at all. The fight against food security has been long. GMO seeds have been in circulation for years courtesy of Bill Gates but his strategy didn’t just start from seeds.

“He started with tampering of soil on many farmlands via the distribution of free fertilizers, and other inputs to many farmers. These fertilizers have weakened our soils overtime, which in turn reduced productivity of the soil and are mostly dangerous for human consumption.

“I have 4 hectares of farm land in Abeokuta (The capital of Ogun State, Nigeria), which I haven’t visited since 2019, and had to get another land close to my place of residence due to security. I know of a few senior farmers who just recently gave up farming.”

Another farmer said: “We already produce our own food but the continuity of production has been frustrated for a long while. Majority of seeds harvested from produce these days can’t reproduce themselves; so there is still constant need to buy seeds every time.

“Naturally once you plant a seed and you harvest it, one should never have to buy again. All future harvest should come from that seed but the reverse is the case now.”

Damilola, a commercial farmer said: “ the seeds provided by these foundations are highly viable and resistant to diseases; hence for someone in my position, it is naturally smart of me to purchase them so I can have higher yield. Although, we are aware that these seeds are dangerous either to our lands or even our health, but we do not have another alternative at the moment. So we are in a well and high water situation.”

With the reports gotten from the different sources, Ireport247.com is still searching out facts about this and will keep publishing as they are available.

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