Saturday, April 16, 2011


That GM food industry will leave no stone unturned to promote their agenda of subjugating the farming communities, especially in the developing world is well established now, the latest example being the surreptitious proxy attempt to enter India through the GM Brinjal route. Of course this aborted attempt ended in a fiasco, as is known to every one following the devious designs of the GM food giants which want GM foods to predominate in the coming years. The perpetual dependence of farmers for seeds on these GM companies will ensure that these countries are faced with agricultural colonialism for decades to come. That a renowned public charity organization like Gates Foundation can become a partner for these neo colonists is a sad reflection on the current environment in the world. It is all the more reprehensible that the UK, one of the most virulent colonialists till a few decades ago, wants to revive its past glory, by becoming an active partner in this objectionable move.

With world food prices rising the Gates Foundation has announced $70 million to fund research into threats to food production in the developing world but are they funding the right projects? The Gates Foundation has formed a co-funding partnership with the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) and they will work together to identify and fund research and projects that help small farmers increase their yields and incomes. The UK's DFID will contribute $32 million over the next five years to the effort. In the joint Media Release the UK's International Development Minister, Andrew Mitchell, said: "For many of the poorest people in Africa and Southern Asia, the crops they grow not only provide most of their food but also an important source of income. It's these people who are hit hardest by food price spikes. Working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we can drive new ways to make direct improvements in people's lives, whether by making disease-resistant crops more widely available so that small-scale farmers can grow and sell more, or by developing crops with added nutritional benefits that will give their families a better diet."

GM foods are still mired in controversy and unless there is near unanimity regarding the safety of these crops a public organization like Gates Foundation should not have lent their financial and moral support to the venture under question. It is immoral to talk about small farmers and the GM technology in the same breath as they are totally incompatible with each other. Can any one support a move to surrender the conventional agricultural heritage of millions of farmers in Asia, Africa and South America to the new unknown technological powers that want to make them like the US where more than 30 crops are grown using GM seeds? Sustainable agriculture based on local expertise and simple techniques can only solve the problems of poor countries who are groaning under heavy debt burden and under-developed agricultural infrastructure.

No comments: