Ask someone what comes to mind when they hear the words “Indian Farmer” and the reply, in most cases, sadly is “suicides”. A while back they might have said “Green Revolution”, but the myth of the Indian farmer planting a GMO crop and then taking a desperate measure when it fails, has taken firm hold of the Internet. (It has been debunked, for example, here ). Confronted by this, I try to explain the facts on chronic indebtedness which follows farmers through generations, this information is mostly ignored. But, here is a piece that one cannot ignore: an Indian farmer writes about his hopes from the new government. He says, of farmers growing Bt Cotton, “No one forced them to do it. They chose to adopt GM cotton because it makes sense.” The food system needs to make sense to people at both ends of it. Most often, however,consumers’ voices, specially of those consumers who are unfamiliar with hunger or chronic malnutrition in their own experiences are the loudest.It is time to listen equally to those who actually grow our food.
(Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net)
I can’t believe there’s not pretty bad propoganda on both sides, and lots of diversity of opinion among farmers in different situations. In other words, I don’t trust either side, and therefore base my anti-gm opinion on my belief that agricultural resources are should be in the commons and also, a worry about gene pollution, a biological issue and a legal one for unsuspecting growers, as in Australia. But I appreciate what you have to say! There’s something creepy about the way that suicide story has gone viral. (Which isn’t to say that rural poverty and the economic system in India aren’t related and that the economics of the mega-corporate sector pretty powerful indeed. OK, ciao for now, my friend!
You are in Australia?! well then, you are in thick of it right now, have been seeing a lot about the recent case and judgement on my Twitter feed. We can always discuss the technology but my point here was more that in any discussion, we must include those who are growing the food. Always good to hear from you!!
(I am in mid-Wales actually…. )
Would love to host a mid Wales farming (or any other issue for that matter) post from you if you are up for it?
wow, thank you. I have an intention to interview someone who is working in networks to develop, slowly, a local grain market (growers and buyers). I have some other thoughts too…. Fun! Let’s stay in touch.
great! if you have something to share, let me know and I will be looking for you as welll 🙂
PS you don’t have to post this but I wanted to tell you– my husband is coming out with a book in August http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781620401330-0 You will really like it. It’s about breaking across political and identity boundaries to communicate climate. I want to help this book get attention not just because it’s his, but because I believe in the importance of his message. I’m trying to think of a food/ cooking angle from which I could blog about it. Maybe some kind of celebratory meal for him, something silly rather than something serious.
Hey, I just checked out the link, this is very impressive. I look forward to reading the book and would be happy to review it here. Like you, I am interested in climate change (how could you live on this planet and not be, right??) particularly from the perspective of the food system and how it make it climate resilient. I think your idea of a celebratory meal which is fun rather than serious is awesome. I am intrigued to see what you come up with! 🙂 To your other question, I am based in Washington DC. If you like the book review idea, we can discuss that some more. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org