Themicroloanfoundation's Blog


Same slop, Different day.
May 24, 2010, 10:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Obama Administration just released its feed the future initiative, promising $3.5 billion in agricultural funding for development. Those looking for a host of impressive buzzwords will be starry-eyed with countless calls for transparency, stake-holder consultation and some strange variety of “country ownership”.

Nonethelss, those who were hoping for a new line towards food security in the global south will be sorely disappointed. For all of its talk on country ownership, FTF relies heavily on the old “good governance” rhetoric, singling out recipients who meet the macroeconomic demands of Bretton Woods. For instance, one of the benchmarks for who gets the aid is the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) process, which outlines national poverty reduction policies, but requires full approval from the IMF. So national ownership kind of goes out the window.

FTF contains a small blurb about increasing the agricultural capacity of women farmers, but any sort of substantial plan on this front remains lacking at best. The most we could gleam was a promise to “integrate gender concerns” into the processes. Sadly, the talk here still is on creating larger bureaucracies to ensure compliance with Bretton Woods conditionality rather than promote any sort of direct investment in agriculture or women-producers.

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