October 2015:From the Executive Summary: "Released in January 2013, the World Bank Group 2013-2015 Agricultural Action Plan ostensibly is designed to improve rural livelihoods and support global food security by addressing climate change, rural gender inequality, market access and investment needs for agriculture. The Plan acknowledges both the importance of small-scale producers in the global agricultural system and the need for climate-resiliency."
The report by FoodFirst, TNI and Bank Information Center reviews and discusses the Action Plan, and offers three case studies and numerous examples of the challenges peasants face in the wake of World Bank Group projects. It questions "whether the Bank’s strategy will actually improve rural livelihoods, reduce rural poverty, end rural hunger and build climate resiliency, and find that the World Bank continues to operate from long-held, faulty assumptions regarding both agriculture and development. The Action Plan prioritizes public-private partnerships; increased access to conventional agricultural inputs and ‘improved seed varieties’; demographic shifts away from agriculture; and the opening of domestic markets to global agribusiness. Moreover, the Bank is increasingly shifting funding into its private arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and supporting the financialization of agriculture."
"Dislocation, lost land (land grabs) and the erosion of traditional, diversified farming practices and social support networks are not aberrations but the tragic result of a development agenda that supports the interests of private companies at the expense of small-scale farmers and those who depend upon them for food security."
Eric Holt-Gimenez, Justine Williams and Caitlyn Hachmyer, The World Bank Group's 2013-15 Agriculture for Action Plan: A Lesson in Privatization, Lack of Oversight and Tired Development Paradigms. Published by FoodFirst, tni, and Bank Information Center, Development Report No 22, October 2015. Download (pdf 2,27mb)