Green activists 'are keeping Africa poor' - Times Online
Western do-gooders are impoverishing Africa by promoting traditional farming at the expense of modern scientific agriculture, according to Britain's former chief scientist.
Anti-science attitudes among aid agencies, poverty campaigners and green activists are denying the continent access to technology that could improve millions of lives, Professor Sir David King will say today.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Europe and America are turning African countries against sophisticated farming methods, including GM crops, in favour of indigenous and organic approaches that cannot deliver the continent's much needed “green revolution”, he believes.
Sir David said that the
slow pace of African development was linked directly to Western influence.
“I'm going to suggest, and I believe this very strongly, that a big part has
been played in the impoverishment of that continent by the focus on
nontechnological agricultural techniques, on techniques of farming that
pertain to the history of that continent rather than techniques that pertain
to modern technological capability. Why has that continent not joined Asia
in the big green revolutions that have taken place over the past few
decades? The suffering within that continent, I believe, is largely driven
by attitudes developed in the West which are somewhat anti-science,
anti-technology - attitudes that lead towards organic farming, for example,
attitudes that lead against the use of genetic technology for crops that
could deal with increased salinity in the water, that can deal with flooding
for rice crops, that can deal with drought resistance.”
“For example, Friends of the Earth in 1999 worried that drought-tolerant crops
may have the potential to grow in habitats unavailable' to conventional
crops. The priority of providing food to an area of the world in greatest
need appears to not have been noted.For decades, approaches to international
development have been dominated by this well-meaning but fatally flawed