Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to www.agrariancrisis.in

Farmer-the most endangered species

WSF 2007- Green Revolution? A Warning from India with Dr. Vandana Shiva

Posted by Ramoo on January 9, 2007

Africa Biodiversity Network, Centre for Development Initiatives (Uganda) & Navdanya (India)

An initiative funded by US billionaire Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation is pouring millions of dollars into research to bring a “New Green Revolution for Africa” as a solution to hunger and poverty. But will this initiative, bringing more fertilizers, pesticides and Genetically Modified crops, really address the causes of hunger in Africa, or will it only serve to exacerbate the continent’s problems?

Renowned Indian Activist Dr Vandana Shiva (Watch Video) will be at the World Social Forum to share the experience of Indian farmers who have suffered under India’s Green Revolution. Genetically Modified crops, expensive agrochemicals and hybrids have taken their toll on farmers, land and food security, and have increased the levels of hunger and poverty. Farmer suicides have reached epidemic rates. The failure and problems caused by the Green Revolution in India should serve as a stark warning to African countries against this new initiative driven by the West.

The world cannot continue to rely on industrial agriculture based on expensive inputs made from petroleum oil and which contribute to climate change. The Gates/ Rockefeller initiative will reinforce this type of agriculture, which increases use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. The only solution to climate change is to draw from local knowledge, local cultures and traditions, local seeds and local inputs.

From within Africa, however, a movement for “Seed Diverse and GE Free Zones” is doing exactly this, starting with Gambella regional government in Ethiopia, declared a “Seed Diverse and GE Free Zone” in 2005. Farmers and local governments in other parts of the country are also taking similar initiatives.

This movement recognises the importance of rebuilding locally-adapted seed diversity, farmers’ varieties and traditional seed saving knowledge. Seed diversity brings food security, and will enhance communities’ ability to adapt in the face of climate change. In the face of pressure from seed companies to accept GM crops, the declaration of African Seed Diverse and GE Free Zones aims to protect and enhance African genetic diversity and sustainable agriculture from the threat of patented and polluting GM crops. This movement is an important signal that Africa is defining its own solutions that return food sovereignty into the hands of African farmers.

The Africa Biodiversity Network (ABN), with Centre for Development Initiatives (CDI) Uganda and Navdanya (India) invite you to join this event on the 21st January. The following day, a second workshop on “Building a Movement for Seed Diverse and GE Free Zones in Africa” will invite African organisations working on food security and sustainable agriculture to join the discussion for strategising to strengthen an African movement.

For more information, please contact

Davis Ddamulira, Centre for Development Initiatives, Uganda
ddamulira@hotmail.com
+256 775 88252
+256 751 339933

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