Bonum Certa Men Certa

Harper's Article on Bill Gates Turning Hunger Into Profit

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

--AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)



Gates at Harper's Magazine



Summary: The article "Can Bill Gates turn hunger into profit?" is available online

LAST WEEK we presented an essay from Frederick Kaufman, who explained how the Gates Foundation may help the acquisition of a monopoly on food (insisting on a single route). With three books, Kaufman is an expert on the subject. It turns out that his long article (as seen above) is available online and here are some highlights:

Gates, Sheeran explained, was going to help the WFP expand its program of local purchasing to small farmers and grain traders in the farther reaches of their client nations. Such purchases, as logistically difficult as they might be, would increase and support the agricultural efforts of these so-called smallholders. “This is the next wave of the story,” said Sheeran.

Grain purchases from small farmers and traders would put cash into the hands of hundreds of thousands of people and encourage farmers to plant and harvest more and more food. In addition, the WFP would put these farmers in contact with other groups, who would in turn help them acquire better seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, more advanced irrigation systems, larger warehouse facilities, and improved access to roads. Thus could a poverty-stricken peasant move from being a recipient of food aid one year, to creating a bit of surplus the next, to making a profitable business out of it a few years down the line—and supplying food for others.

In order to realize these plans, the World Food Program would guarantee a market where none might now exist. They would do so, in part, by “forward contracting,” whereby the WFP would promise to purchase a certain amount of a farmer’s output, at a certain price, either one, two, or three years down the line. Such guarantees would give small farmers the incentive to plant more crops, since they could count on an eventual market for their goods. A WFP contract might even help farmers get credit from the local bank, or perhaps a bit of crop insurance.

Josette Sheeran told me the acronym for her pilot program: P4P, which stands for Purchase for Progress. The $76 million program would be funded by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of Belgium. In its first year of forward contracting, P4P would commit the World Food Program to purchasing 40,000 tons of food from 350,000 small farmers. “We are studying a proposal with Bill Gates on a way to do the contract,” Sheeran said.

[...]

Bill Gates. Why, despite our spending more money than had ever been spent to solve the problem of world hunger, and why, despite everybody’s best efforts to reconceptualize the problem—why were more and more people going hungry? Perhaps Gates would consider the paradox that our efforts might be exacerbating the problem, that all we were doing was wrong. Obviously, this was not the kind of thing I could vet beforehand with a publicist, or send over to media@gatesfoundation.org expecting a response. The nature of the question seemed to defy reason. Which was why I went to visit Amartya Sen.


GatesKeepers, a site that's critical of the Gates Foundation, has just paid attention to Microsoft's attitude towards China following the attacks that relied on defective Microsoft software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. "If the Gates Foundation cares about the health and development of people in China," says GatesKeepers, "then it could lobby Microsoft to make safer software." The Gates Foundation also ought to make/advance safer foods, but instead it promotes the experimental, patent-encumbered seeds from Monsanto. Details below.

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader's Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates' Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the 'Public Relations'
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship

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