We are already producing one and a half times the amount of food needed to provide everyone in the world with an adequate and nutritious diet; yet one in seven people is suffering from hunger. Every day 25,000 people die from hunger. Clearly there are social and political reasons why people are suffering from hunger. If we are interested in feeding the world, then we need to tackle poverty, and the poor need access to inexpensive, sustainable agricultural technologies that can provide them with a diverse and varied diet. The last thing they need is increased corporate control of the food supply, expensive fertilisers and chemicals, ecological hazards and patented seeds that they are not allowed to save for the following year.
"We . . . strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves." Statement signed by 24 delegates to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation from 18 African countries