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NGOs say World Bank-supported Enabling the Business of Agriculture threatens food security for local communities

Author: African Center for Biodiversity & others, in Oakland Institute, Published on: 23 January 2017

"RE: Calling on the World Bank to End the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA)"

...We are writing today to urge you to put an end to the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project, which jeopardizes farmers’ right to seeds, food security, and the future of our planet. In 2012, the World Bank was tasked by the G8 to create a “Doing Business in Agriculture Index.”1 With the support of the US, UK, Danish, and Dutch governments as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bank launched the EBA project, which will benchmark the agricultural policies of over 60 countries in 2017.

The EBA’s top-down approach dictates the so-called “good practices” to regulate agriculture and scores countries on how well they apply and implement its prescriptions. Based on the EBA scores, the World Bank leverages policy changes in agriculture.2 This is a dangerously misguided effort, as national policymaking should prioritize locally adapted solutions based on the experiences and demands of farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolks, and rural communities...

While the EBA reforms will not benefit the majority of farmers, they will increase the profits of a handful of private companies...In order to protect farmers, food security, and our planet, we urge you to put an immediate end to the EBA project. We call on the World Bank to rather fight poverty and food insecurity by promoting vibrant local seed systems, and supporting true participation of farmers in the design of regulations and policies in the agricultural sector.

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