Home » Resources » Yara’s neocolonial business in Africa

Yara’s neocolonial business in Africa

The agro-industrial system that is dominant in Europe – globalized, industrial and export-oriented – is looking to take over the world. Global corporations like Cargill, Yara, and Nestlé continue past colonization with the help of Western institutions. In the process of increasing its dominance, the agro-industrial complex destroys local networks of farmers that produce the most nutrient rich food that would guarantee food sovereignty. In this asymmetrical battle, Yara is a very efficient warchief. Let us explain.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, Yara took the position of leader in the African Green Revolution – which in honest terms would be called the Agro-Industrial Revolution. Claiming to fight against hunger, Yara also instrumentalized climate issues, and the corporation pushed and financed a series of alliances and events that played a major role in the governance of food safety in Africa. In doing this, Yara interfered in the decision process for its own gain. For instance, in 2006 it organized the African Green Revolution Forum that promised to multiply the use of fertilizers by 6 in the following years through tax incentives and through strategic partnerships between states and corporations.

After that, Yara initiated or promoted a series of international forums, conferences, prizes, programs or partnerships with states in order to organize its influence. The corporation invented the concept of “Agricultural Growth Corridors”, and promoted it into the highest international institutions. This concept sounds surprisingly similar to the colonial strategies of opening up producing territories to connect them to commercial ports. Since 2011, Yara is co-presiding Grow Africa, a project that is in fact a lobby and a very efficient tool to force governments to adopt policies that favor corporations and to obtain public funding.

In all those spheres of decision, Yara, as a proficient lobby, pushes the vision of a technocratic and capitalist agriculture. This clearly oriented discourse sets aside the debate on the desired growth model. Moreover, research mainly carried out by western labs and funded by global corporations like Yara attempts to legitimize the agro-industrial model. Farmer peasants and the local private sector have very little say in the matter, and their initiatives are being ignored.

Yara and its associates are unable to solve the hunger crisis in Africa. In fact, they are causing food insecurity and misery. Yara “donated” 40,000 tons of SNF to 250,000 farmers to create dependence on their fertilizers and cement their corporate control. We need to fight Yara for what it is: the tip of the spear of capitalism and neocolonialism – a disaster for peasant agriculture and rural societies over the world.


Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa. (2013). Africa’s food sovereignty under attack by corporate Interests. GRAIN. In Souveraineté alimentaire | semences & biodiversité. (press release)

Daño E. C. (2007). Unmasking the new green Revolution in Africa: Motives, Players and Dynamics. , EDD, Third World Network & African Centre for Biosafety. (book)

ETC GROUP. (2022). Small-Scale farmers and peasants still feed the world. (article)

ETC GROUP (2017). Who Will Feed Us? The Industrial Food Chain vs the Peasant Food Web. (3rd Edition). (report)-

GRAIN. (2023). The AfDB strategy to agro-industrialise Africa. (article)

GRAIN (2016). Grow-ing disaster: the Fortune 500 goes farming. (article)

GRAIN (2014). Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland. (article)

Inter-réseaux Développement rural, Bureau Issala, SOS Faim Belgique (2019). Le rôle croissant du secteur privé dans les politiques publiques alimentaires en Afrique. Contexte, formes et enjeux.  (article)

Oxfam France, Action contre la faim & CCFD-Terre Solidaire (2014). La faim, un business comme un autre. Comment la Nouvelle Alliance du G8 menace la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique. (report)

La Via Campesina. (2012). Journée mondiale de l’alimentation : les investissements de l’agro-industrie détruisent la paysannerie. La via Campesina. (article)

La Via Campesina (2023). Sommet des Nations Unies sur les systèmes alimentaires : Les mouvements sociaux appellent à de véritables transformations. La Via Campesina (article)