by James Corbett
September 19, 2021
You've got to hand it to the globalists: they know how to take advantage of our better instincts. They have designed an entire international institutional infrastructure around the issues that the average non-psychopath cares about (or at least pretends to): helping the poor and the downtrodden, caring for children, ending inequities, taking care of the planet, etc.
This is why Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, just released his report on "Our Common Agenda," which purports to provide a road map for "rebuilding our world and mending the trust in one another we need so desperately at this moment in history." Not because he actually cares about saving the world, of course, but because he knows that we do, and that many people can be persuaded to "make sacrifices"—up to an including relinquishing their personal sovereignty, as this report ultimately calls for—for the "greater good."
And, as viewers of this week's New World Next Week will know, this is why the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and a gaggle of their Big Agra cronies are teaming up in a billion dollar alliance to "elevate the single coordinated African voice" in a United Nations summit on food security in Africa. Not because they care about feeding starving African children or raising up poor African farmers, but because they know that we do.
Specifically, the Gates-Rockefeller-Big Ag monstrosity known as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and their associated fundraising vehicle, the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) is seeking to "elevate the single coordinated African voice" at the UN Food Systems Summit in New York this week. But, as the Alliance for Food Safety in Africa (AFSA) and literally dozens of other groups are pointing out, the AGRA-promoted approach to farming—monocultural commodity production heavily reliant on chemical inputs—is great for the big agribusiness corporations who make up the AGRA alliance but terrible for actual African farmers, not to mention terrible for long-term soil fertility and human development.
This is not by accident. In fact, the entire premise behind the "green revolution" from which AGRA and AGRF derive their name is that Big Ag is the saviour of the world and the only way to provide food security for the masses. This is a lie, of course, but it's one that plays nicely on our better instincts. After all, who wants to see African farmers living in poverty and African children starving?
But in order to better understand the scam that is being perpetrated on the people of Africa (and the people of the world), we need to look beyond this billion-dollar corporate alliance to discover the sordid history of the "green revolution" itself. As usual, the real history of this event is completely opposite to the history you will read about it in the mainstream textbooks.
First, AGRA and AGRF. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa is, according to their own website, "an alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent." This claim is immediately disproven by their "partners" list, however, which includes a number of multi-national Big Ag corporations, like Bayer, Syngenta, John Deere and . . . Microsoft? The alliance—as those who know what the "green revolution" was really about will have already guessed—claims to "bring together the goods and services necessary for rapid agricultural development" through "a combination of funding, technical input, coaching and convening," but it is actually primarily interested in monopolizing and dominating the agricultural market in Africa.
The Alliance has, unsurprisingly, functioned for years under the stewardship of various Gates and Rockefeller-connected leaders in an explicitly Gates and Rockefeller-driven agenda to introduce "green revolution" technologies to Africa that began nearly two decades ago. AGRA's "flagship initative," the Program for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS) was designed and led by Joseph DeVries, a former Rockefeller Foundation employee. What's more, AGRA President Agnes Kalibata's chief of staff, Adam Gerstenmeier, was previously chief of staff to Bill Gates himself.
The African Green Revolution Forum, meanwhile, is an annual fundraising event put together by the billion dollar chemical company, Yara International. According to their own about page, the "African" forum didn't even start in Africa but in Norway. The group had to be persuaded to move to Africa and "take an African identity."
"Initially established as an annual “African Green Revolution Conference” by Yara International ASA in Norway in 2006, fostering public-private partnerships and mobilizing investments into African agriculture, the conference moved to the African continent in 2010 with the championing of the late Kofi Annan to take an African identity as the African Green Revolution Forum and ensure leadership and broader engagement of African stakeholders in the continent’s agricultural transformation agenda. The Forum now consists of an annual event combined with thematic platforms and year round engagement to track progress over time."
AGRF partners include (predictably enough) a cadre of multinational corporations and corporate "philanthropic" foundations like MasterCard, Bayer, Syngenta, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
From this alone, it isn't hard to see why actual African farmers and African NGOs are so upset about AGRF claiming to "elevate the single coordinated African voice" by speaking in their name at the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit.
But as bad as all of this seems at first glance, it's much worse upon closer inspection. That's because AGRA and AGRF did not spring out of thin air. They are the end result of nearly a century of coordinated effort to transform the nature of agriculture itself into a business enterprise dominated by an oligopoly of multinational corporations. That agenda has been sold to the public as a "green revolution" but the only thing green about it are the dollars lining the pockets of the billionaire CEOs who are taking advantage of the public's sympathy for poor farmers and starving families.
The official history of the so-called "green revolution" typically notes that this "revolution" was the result of technology transfers to the third-world that allowed developing countries to enjoy the fruits of modern agrichemical products and practices. This technology—so the story goes—greatly increased agricultural productivity around the world, thus helping to feed billions.
This greenwashed story usually starts in Mexico in the 1940s and focuses on the work of Norman Borlaug, an American scientist often credited with "saving a billion lives" for his experiments with disease-resistant, high-yield varieties of wheat in Mexico in the 1940s. However, the real history of the "green revolution" is, in contrast to this feel-good story of cooperation and philanthropy, much darker. And, unsurprisingly, that story leads us back to the Rockefellers.
Specifically, in 1940, US Vice President Henry A. Wallace, fresh off a tour of Mexico, approached the Rockefeller Foundation with the <sarc>remarkable insight</sarc> that "if the yield per acre in corn and beans could be increased, it would have a greater effect on the national life of Mexico than anything that could be done." The Rockefellers, knowing a business opportunity when they saw it, took up the cause.
Predictably enough, though, the Rockefeller family approached the problem of food production in the developing world in the exact same way they had approached the problem of oil production in the late 19th century: by turning it into a business and monopolizing the market for the product. And, just as they had consolidated the oil industry into Big Oil and consolidated allopathic medicine into Big Pharma, they now set about consolidating the developing world's agricultural industry into Big Ag. Mexico was to be the testbed for this business strategy.
As the Los Angeles Times reported in 1995¸Nelson Rockefeller set up the Mexican American Development Corp. in the 1940s and then used his family's bank, the Chase National Bank—then under the stewardship of Winthrop Aldrich, the Rockefeller brothers' uncle, and soon thereafter under the stewardship of David Rockefeller himself—to set up Chase Bank's Latin American division in the country. As William Engdahl writes in his comprehensive overview of the green revolution and the gene revolution, Seeds of Destruction, one important motive for these moves was to "regain a foothold in Mexico through the guise of helping to solve the country’s food problems."
With their business ducks in a row, the Rockefellers were ready to get down to the corporate "philanthropy" which had increased the family's fortune—not to mention their reputation—since John D. Rockefeller, Sr. had plowed his oil money into the establishment of the Rockefeller Foundation. In this case, the Rockefellers established the Mexican Agricultural Program (MAC), headed by George Harrar, who would go on to become the president of the Rockefeller Foundation. It was from MAC that Norman Borlaug and the fabled green revolution was to emerge.
The story of the green revolution continued in Brazil, where another of the Rockefeller's seemingly infinite corporate extensions was hard at work transforming that nation's agricultural industry. This time the culprit was the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC), set up by Nelson Rockefeller in 1947. According to the Rockefeller Archive Center:
"The Corporation was developed as a private business enterprise that would focus on upgrading the "basic economies" of lesser-developed nations by lowering food prices, building sound housing, mobilizing savings, and fostering industrialization. The objective was for the business to be profitable and sustainable, and to encourage others, especially nationals, to establish competitive businesses and thereby establish a "multiplier" development effect"
But the real insight into what IBEC (and the "green revolution" in general) was actually about comes from Lester Brown, who was also a beneficiary of Rockefeller largesse: his Worldwatch Institute was founded in 1974 with the aid of a $500,000 grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. As Brown admitted in his 1969 book on the subject, Seeds of Change:
"Fertilizer is only one item in the package of new inputs which farmers need in order to realize the full potential of the new seeds. Once it becomes profitable to use modern technology, the demand for all kinds of farm inputs increases rapidly. And only agribusiness firms can supply these new inputs efficiently. This means that the multinational corporation has a vested interest in the agricultural revolution along with the poor countries."
This is the basis of the so-called green revolution: multinational corporations finding a profit motive for "developing" the agricultural sector of third world countries by selling them fertilizers, chemicals and capital-intensive technology. It's no surprise to learn that the very term "agribusiness" emerged from the Harvard Business School out of research conducted by Wassily Leontief under a Rockefeller Foundation grant.
It is also no surprise, then, that the Gates Foundation picked up where the Rockefeller Foundation left off in the world of agricultural "philanthropy." As viewers of my Who Is Bill Gates? documentary will remember, Bill Gates, Sr. admitted in his 2009 book, Showing Up for Life, to basing the Gates' philanthrocapitalistic efforts on the Rockefeller Foundation's model.
But here again we can be misled by our own good intentions. We might buy into the (PR-constructed) myth of "philanthropy" that the would-be monopolists use to disguise their true agenda. "Well," we might argue, "if agribusiness actually increases food production in these countries, what's the harm in that? Some starving people get fed and some corporations make a profit. Win win!"
But, of course, this is a lie. It always had been. It's been pointed out many times before in many different contexts, but it is pointed out quite forcefully by the AFSA in their press release on AGRA and the upcoming Food Systems Summit:
"Over a decade of research has exposed the failure of AGRA on its own terms. After nearly 15 years and spending of more than US$1 billion to promote the use of commercial seeds, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides in 13 African countries, and additional US$1 billion per year of African government subsidies for seeds and fertilizers, AGRA has failed to provide evidence that yields, incomes or food security increased significantly, and sustainably, for smallholder households across its target countries. Since the onset of AGRA’s program in 2006, the number of undernourished people across these 13 countries has increased by 30 percent. Even where staple crop production did increase, there was little reduction of rural poverty or hunger. Instead, diverse, climate-resilient crops that provide a more diverse and healthy diet for rural Africans have been displaced."
The green revolution was a fraud. It sold entire nations into debt slavery to multinational corporations and didn't even lead to food security. Instead, it has led to increased poverty and malnutrition in the service of the production of monocultural cash crops for exports to foreign companies. The entire process is a sham from top to bottom.
Sadly, the billions that are sloshed around by the multinationals in their Alliances and Fora are enough to buy off much of the opposition. Even so, there is still an incredible amount of opposition to the green revolution agenda and many, many authentic organizations that are protesting and boycotting its rollout. However, their voices are given short shrift in the mass media that has long since been bought and paid for by the same Big Ag companies and "philanthropic" foundations that are driving this agenda. It is up to us to spread the word about these voices of dissent.
Our instincts are correct. We should care about poverty. We should desire food security for all. We should want poor farmers in Africa and everywhere else around the world to thrive. But we should not fall for the propaganda that tells us that the only way to achieve these things is by supporting Big Ag and their cronies.
This weekly editorial is part of The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter.
To support The Corbett Report and to access the full newsletter, please sign up to become a member of the website.