The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is arguably the most influential actor in the world for global health and agriculture policies. As the world’s largest private funder of global development initiatives, however, BMGF's programmes which have increasing influence on decision-making and is setting the health and agriculture agendas in developing countries are not subject to independent or public evaluation.
In the area of agriculture, BMGF is promoting, through its agriculture grants, a model of industrial agriculture. A prime example is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), established by the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006. AGRA's thrust is on promoting technology such as hybrid seeds (see Program for Africa's Seed System, PASS) and chemical fertiliser. AGRA supports the introduction of commercial seed systems and has lobbied African governments to restructure their seed laws to facilitate this. AGRA also supports agro-dealer networks of small, private stockists of chemicals and seeds who sell these to farmers in several African countries (seeMarket Access Programm).
BMGF is also the world’s biggest funder of research and development on genetic modification (GM) in the global south. It appears to be especially pushing for the adoption of GM in Africa, in many cases in the face of public and governmental opposition.
Barbara Adams; Jens Martens, Fit for whose purpose?Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations. Bonn/New York (Global Policy Forum) September 2015. Download (pdf-Datei 2,5mb)
Philanthropic Power and Development. Who shapes the agenda? By Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz. Published by MISEREOR, Brot für die Welt and Global Policy Forum, November 2015. Download (pdf 780kb)
Gated Development:Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good? By Marc Curtis, January 2016. Download (pdf)
GRAIN, How does the Gates Foundation spend its money to feed the world? November 2014. Download (pdf)