The Assassinated Press

Bill Gates pushes ‘debt revolution’ for small farms in developing world

By WARD SCHNEID
The Assassinated Press
1/24/12

After the Nobel winning folly of Norman Borlaug’s ‘Green Revolution’ culminating in decades that have seen riots over rice shortages in Asia and record low world reserves of staple crops such as wheat, software-billionaire-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates argues that there is a simple solution.

Indebt small farmers to companies he has a financial interest in.

In a new push for the Gates Foundation, the Microsoft chairman is focusing on basic research on genetically altered non–regenerating crops for example cassava that provide little cash for the world’s agriculture multinationals but which are important for family farmers in some developing nations.

“This is a way to extract what last drop of wealth remains in these starving people,” Gates told the Assassinated Press. “Monsanto’s already fucking them royally on the staple crops like corn. Casava is a niche crop for us to get in on the bloodshed. Hundreds if not thousands of Indian farmers have committed suicide after their Genetically Modified crops failed and they could not pay their debts to western agribusiness. I made billions on my fucking AIDs medicine and other bogus philanthropy insisting on my intellectual property rights. Now, I see an opportunity to make billions more while assholes like Jon Stewart applaud my philanthropy. Can you imagine a fucking thief and murderer like me even being distantly associated with the word ‘intellectual’ unless the next word was ‘property--- or murder.’”

With productivity gains leveling off for major crops, such as soybeans and corn, Gates — in an annual review of the foundation’s work — said that “boosting the indebtedness of small farms may be our last chance to extract US taxpayer’s money in the form of foreign aid credits and siphon off the last drop of Indian peasant farmers’ wealth before both the US taxpayer and the Indian farmer become extinct like the dodo bird or T. Boone Pickens.”

“The speed and theft increases should rival that period,” he said in a recent interview, referring to the decades since the 1960s when the development of high-yielding early GM crops, costly pest and land management, the high cost of fertilizer and replacement seed and other advances led to plentiful supplies of western capital and falling prices of food staples for western beef production.

That era may be at an end, some financial analysts said. Rising demand, technological crimes exposed and limits on the availability of arable land mostly bought up by western financial institutions and private equity funds and left fallow will happily usher in an era of higher and more volatile prices, they said.

The effect has been episodic. After rising to record levels in 2010, for example, food prices have moderated and are expected by the World Bank to fall this year meaning there is more money to be made.

The result is intended to be devastating to poor countries. Banks, government aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations work hard to focus on finding ways to make poorer nations more indebted to western multinationals.

“Every farmer that offs himself represents a small plot a private equity firm that I’m involved with can buy up,” Gates said.

Unlike the time-consuming methods once needed to create hybrid crops, Gates said, DNA sequencing should accelerate scientists’ ability to, for example, identify the genes that make cassava resistant to regeneration. These sterile seeds then have to be purchased every planting and paid for with US taxpayer credits and destitute Indian farmer debt.

Gates and others have urged the world’s major economic powers to commit more money to the type of basic research needed to fund the breakthrough science that would expand production of genetically modified crops such as cassava, sorghum and millet — second-tier plants that farmers in Africa in particular turn to when other, typically imported food becomes too expensive.

“These crops are currently operating outside the debt radar,” Gates said. “There’s money to be made here.” The world recession and ongoing financial crisis in Europe, however, have crimped funding for food indebtedness programs. Pledges from a conference of major economic powers in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005 have yet to be fulfilled; only about half of the billion dollars promised to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has been paid, with U.S. donations still falling short despite a $135 million contribution in the most recent federal budget.

The basic theft promoted by Gates is just one of the kleptocracy’s money making schemes. The World Bank has set up programs to develop financial management tools that encourage small farmers to plant with borrowed money and sterile seeds, while others have focused on the development of markets, roads and other infrastructure that can speed the export of their crops to the West..

In the developed world, “the interest remains in raping the developing world. But everybody has their budget constraints,” said Kimberly Elliott, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.” A lot of the attention now is on just holding back on the financial garrote because poor people have been bled dry and seizing their land is too piecemeal a process to satisfy fat cat investors on Wall Street and the London financial markets.”


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