We are about to enter August. And that's a special month in India. Each year, on the 15th, the country commemorates the anniversary of independence from Britain. To mark the occasion, official public celebrations take place in Delhi with flag waving and fly-pasts, and the corporate media is awash with patriotic sentiments. Behind the scenes, however, agriculture, the very heart and soul of the nation, will continue to be restructured for the benefit of foreign interests, raising the question: just where does the notion independence sit with such a policy?
In India, small farms account for 92 percent of all farms and occupy around 40 percent of all agricultural land. They form the bedrock of food production. Indeed, small farms produce most of the world's food [see this]. Facilitated by an appropriate policy framework, smallholders could easily feed the global population.
This is similar to the type of cynical attack experienced by opponents of GM the world over, whose resistance to GM is portrayed as robbing food from the bellies of the poor and as ‘anti-human’. While espousing fake concern for the poor in order to help line the pockets of big agribusiness, the pro-GMO lobby says nothing about the structural violence waged on rural communities thanks to agri-business-backed IMF/World Bank/WTO policies or the devastating effects of GMOs in places like South America.
by Colin Todhunter