Small Farmers Fight Against Globalized Agriculture
This release from the Advocate News Service was sent from Madras, India, and published in Farmer's Choice (25 March 1994). Under the new GATT rules, companies can sue farmers for selling seeds from their own fields when these are claimed as derivatives of protected seeds. The rules place the onus of proof on the farmers, a provision going against normal rules. This has caused great anger. Defying GATT in their 'seed satyragraha' (non-violent Gandhian struggle), the farmers are setting up co-operatives to develop, store and exchange their own seeds.
MADRAS, India - A gaunt, Gandhi-like figure has emerged in South India as leader of mighty peasants' revolts.
He sees himself as fighting for the survival of rural peoples threatened by the industrialization and globalization of agriculture.
And his voice is being heard throughout the sub-continent and other developing countries.
The immediate grievance of Professor M.D. Najundaswami and the 10 million members of his Karnataka Farmers Union is the powers just given to multinational seed merchants in the latest round of talks on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
When the Uruguay Round of GATT is finally signed next month, the companies will be able to enforce copyright on scientifically improved seeds.
In theory, this means farmers will no longer be allowed to gather seeds from their crops, but will have to buy them each year from seed companies.
Many of these seeds depend on chemicals for growth.
All this, Najundaswami says, will lead to a monopoly for agribusiness, requiring farmers to spend heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides (usually sold by the same companies).
It could, he says, threaten the livelihoods of all but rich farmers. India is made up of small farmers.
'Our farms are our last refuge,' says Najundaswami.
'If we are driven off them, we suffer extermination. What is happening in sub-Saharan Africa will happen here.'
Najundaswami, a former law professor, won a seat in the Karnataka State Assembly last year and hopes his movement will dominate state politics after elections in November.
It will, he says, be bigger than Gandhi's independence freedom struggle,'when the fight against cultural imperialism eventually spreads from the rural to the urban areas.'
His 14-year-old union is run as a grass-roots movement and is setting the political pace in 12 of Karnataka state's 19 districts.
The farmers have shown impressive muscle. On Gandhi's birthday, October 2, more than 500,000 assembled in Bangalore to hear protests from across the developing world.
Najundaswami has been feted in Paris by anti-GATT French and has addressed a rally in Geneva.
The action burst into a rare episode of violence when members ransacked the Bangalore offices of Cargill, the world's largest seed company and food merchant, in which they see the main threat.
Their central target is the 'intellectual property rights' awarded to companies by the new GATT rules, which threaten to stop them trading in seeds among themselves.
Defying GATT in their 'seed satyragraha' (non-violent Gandhian struggle), the farmers are setting up cooperatives to develop, store and exchange their own seeds.
The seed merchants and government officials promise that the real effects of GATT will be less drastic and there is much confusion about what the rules will mean in practice.
Legislation has still to be drafted and protesters claim growing sympathy for their cause among officials and MPs who cannot ignore the rural vote.
Nobody denies that the GATT text forces every country to introduce a patent law or an 'effective' substitute to protect plant breeders' rights.
John Hamilton, the Cargill manager in Bangalore, says his company has no intention of taking out patents on seeds because these are costly and ineffective.
But he confirmed the companies will 'not tolerate' rival sales of seed varieties they claim to have originated.
Hybrid seeds sold by companies are sterile, cannot be re-sown after the first harvest and must therefore be repurchased every year.
Rather than becoming perpetual clients of monopolistic companies, the farmers plan to produce their own hybrids.
Non-hybrids can be re-planted and farmers say their time-honoured methods of trading such seeds after each harvest are now under threat.
Under the new GATT rules, companies can sue farmers for selling seeds from their own fields when these are claimed derivatives to protected seeds.
The rules place the onus of proof in case of dispute on the farmers, a provision going against normal rules of justice which has caused particular anger.
Such seeds are not primitive, the farmers insist. They represent centuries of improvement and adaptation to local conditions and have been developed for mixed, sustainable agriculture.
The reputation of 'miracle seeds,' by contrast, is rapidly diminishing in India.
'People bought them under pressure of salesmanship, but they are disillusioned,' Najundaswami says.
'They require very costly inputs, yields are often much lower than advertised and very often lower than our own seeds.' Traditional farming is cost-effective, he says, because it needs fewer inputs and less water and provides its own organic manure without cost on fields where a variety of food and fodder crops can share the same space.
Behind this grievance is deeper disillusion with the famed 'Green Revolution' which brought India from chronic food deficit to surplus in the '60s.
Shivaram Hutchaia, a union member in Mandia district, said yields of Cargill sunflower seeds had been 'a disaster,' while organic production of rice, sorghum, wheat and sugar cane had broken records.
- ACTIVISME JUDICIAIRE (3)
- ANTICLÉRICAUX ET FRANCS-MAÇONS (4)
- APOSTASIE TRANQUILLE (1)
- AVORTEMENT (19)
- BANQUES (1)
- BIENTÔT UN GOUVERNEMENT MONDAIL? UNE SUPER ET CONTRE-ÉGLISE (47)
- CHANGEMENTS CLIMATIQUES (6)
- COMMUNISME (23)
- COMPLOTS (32)
- CORRUPTION AU CANADA (15)
- CORRUPTION IN CADADA (220)
- CRÉATEUR DIVIN VERSUS CRÉATEUR EXTRA-TERRESTRE (2)
- CRÉDIT SOCIAL PAS UN PARTI POLITIQUE (14)
- CRIME DE HAINE ET PROPAGANDE HAINEUSE (4)
- DU COMMUNISME AU MONDIALISME (21)
- ÉCOLE LAÏQUE (2)
- ÉCONOMIE (1)
- ÉDUCATION DES ENFANTS (1)
- ENCYCLIQUE «DIVINI RREDEMPTORIS» SUR LE COMMUNISME ATHÉE (5)
- EUTHANASIE (1)
- EXTRÉMISTES LAÏQUES (1)
- FÉMINAZISME (2)
- FÉMINAZISME-FÉDÉRATION DES FEMMES DU QUÉBEC (3)
- FIDEL CASTRO (2)
- GEORGE SAND - ÉTUDE D'UNE ÉDUCATION (1)
- GRAND ORIENT DE FRANCE (1)
- GRIPPE COCHONNE OU H1N1 (5)
- HOMOSEXUALITÉ (15)
- HUMOUR POLITIQUE (1)
- Islam (2)
- ISLAM ET LE CORAN (3)
- KARL MARX ET SATAN (8)
- KHROUTCHEV (1)
- L'ÉCOLE LAÏQUE ET LE RAPPORT PROULX (47)
- La République Universelle (16)
- LE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS - LE RIN - LE PARTI QUÉBÉCOIS (23)
- LE CHRISTIANISME A-T-IL FAIT FAILLITE? (8)
- LE MARXISME-LÉNINISME (43)
- LES CRIMES DU COMMUNISMES (60)
- LES FORCES OCCULTES DANS LE MONDE MODERNE (4)
- LES JUIFS DANS LE MYSTÈRE DE L'HISTOIRE (48)
- LIBÉRALISME (1)
- LIBRE ENTREPRISE (1)
- MÉDIAS ANTICLÉRICAUX (1)
- MESSAGES AU LECTEUR (1)
- MOMENTS HISTORIQUES (1)
- MOUVEMENT LAÏQUE QUÉBÉCOIS OU FRANÇAIS (1)
- MYSTÈRE D'INIQUITÉ - MYSTERIUM INIQUITATIS (40)
- NATIONS UNIS - COMMISSION DES DROITS DE L'HOMME (2)
- Persécutions Anti-Chrétiennes (1)
- PHILOSPHIE (2)
- RAPPEL HISTORIQUE (1)
- RÉCHAUFFEMENT PLANÉTAIRE (8)
- RELATIONS DES JÉSUITES TOME 6 (119)
- RELIGION (1)
- SANTÉ AU NATUREL (1)
- SÉKOU-TOURÉ (1)
- SÉPARATISME (2)
- SOINS DE SANTÉ SOCIALISTES (1)
- SUICIDE ET MÉDICATION (1)
- SUPERSTITIONS (1)
- THE UNITED NATIONS EXPOSED (23)
- TITISME (1)
- TITO (1)
- TROTSKY (1)
Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».
Archives du blogue
- ► 2010 (147)
- ► 2009 (155)
- ► 2008 (410)
06/03 - 06/10
- 310-311 REPORT FROM QUEBEC: UNITED NATIONS THREAT ...
- 311-312 REPORT FROM ALBERTA
- 313-314 REPORT FROM THE MARITIMES
- 314-315 UN TO OWN 30% OF LAND A SURFACE: THE WORLD...
- 316-317 Plate 36, 37, 38, 39:
- 318-318 SECRET MILITARY MANEUVERS CONCERN TO LOYAL...
- 319-322 EPILOGUE: CHOMSKY, KISSINGER, & CO
- 325-325 SECTION V
- 325-329 DER KANADISCHE TRAUM? THE CANADIAN DREAM
- 330-333 INSIDE THE FEATHERBED FILE: Treason in the...
- 333-334 PATRICK WALSH
- 335-335 THE FEATHERBED FILE
- 336-338 THE COMINTERN-KGB SOVIET NEXUS
- 338-339 COMINTERN PENETRATES CANADIAN FEDERAL CIVI...
- 339-339 WHO WAS COMRADE LOUIS KON?
- 340-341 COMRADE KON RECRUITS OSCAR SKELTON
- 341-344 WASHINGTON AND OTTAWA: PARALLEL INFILTRATI...
- 344-346 THE NORMAN CASE
- 346-349 THE STRANGE CASE OF PROFESSOR HUGH HAMBLET...
- 349-350 FABIAN SOCIALIST PENETRATION IN OTTAWA
- 351-357 THE JEAN-LOUIS GAGNON CASE
- 356-359 TRUDEAU SPEARHEADS FABIAN TAKEOVER
- 360-361 ATTEMPTED TO SILENCE WORTHINGTON
- 361-364 BAMBOOZLED JOE CLARK
- 364-365 TRUTH IS FINALLY EMERGING
- 366-367 ONE-WORLDERS IN CANADIAN POLITICS
- 367-368 26 May 1966
- 368-368 6 June 1966
- 368-368 15 July 1966
- 369-370 9 August 1966
- 370-370 1967
- 370-371 10 January 1967
- 371-372 11 February 1967
- 372-373 12 July 1967
- 372-372 5 August 1967
- 373-373 9 August 1967
- 372-373 21 September 1967
- 374-374 13 November 1967
- 374-376 29 November 1967
- 376-377 31 January 1968
- 377-378 10 February 1968
- 378-378 28 February 1968
- 378-378 19 March 1968
- 378-379 5 April 1968
- 379-380 11 November 1969
- 380=381 22 October 1970
- 381-384 27 October 1970
- 384-385 1 July 1971
- 385-385 25 October 1976
- 386-386 7 November 1977
- 386-389 14 August 1977
- 390-390 TEARING CANADA APART
- 390-393 TO SEPARATE QUEBEC FROM CANADA? NO! TO SEP...
- 394-395 JACQUES PARIZEAU: ONE-WORLDER
- 394-397 THE SEPARATION OF QUEBEC: A DECEPTION OF T...
- 398-398 TEARING CANADA APART WOULD BE A DISASTER
- 399-399 SEPARATISM IS A CAPITULATION
- 400-401 WE DO NOT WANT A CIVIL WAR IN CANADA
- 401-402 DOMINION DAY 'STOLEN' BY PIERRE TRUDEAU
- 403-407 THE NEW WORLD ORDER MASK OF MARXISM: THE P...
- 417-417 NEW HOPES FOR BOB RAE
- 420-432 OZONE DEPLETION: FACT OR FABRICATION?
- 433-433 BLUE ALERT: JUPITER
- 434-434 JUPITER: MAN'S NEXT ESOTERIC HOME
- 435-435 JUPITER'S COMET DEVASTATION NOW PLAINLY VI...
- 436-436 PLUTONIUM FOR JUPITER
- 436-437 COLD FUSION: POSSIBILITY OF LIMITLESS ENER...
- 438-444 NEW WORLD ORDER SCIENTISTS NOW CREATING AN...
- 445-447 SECRET NEW WORLD ORDER WEATHER GENERATORS
- 448-457 WEATHERWAR DELUGE OVER AMERICA
- 458-460 AS THE FARMER GOES, SO GOES NORTH AMERICA
- 460-462 FOCUS ON INDIA:
- 463-465 O, CANADA, STOP CENSORING
- 466-471 THE INTEGRITY OF RACE
- 472-474 A VOICE FROM THE HINTERLANDS OF ONTARIO
- 475-493 Towards a Police State in Canada: CSIS, AC...
- 489 "BOOKS"
- 492-505 CSIS AND THE WOULD-BE CONTROLLERS OF CANAD...
- ▼ 06/03 - 06/10 (78)