Saturday, March 13, 2010

What’s in the Budget for Aam Admi? How about Genetic Okra and Basmati Rice?

I am not much of a commenter on the budget but this article in Outlook (edited by the iconic editor Vinod Mehta) had me thinking. If the trend of corporatization (not globalization, which difference I explained somewhere in another post here) continues, we would have more and more farmers being given as guinea pigs into the laboratories of companies that want to patent our Brinjals, Okra and Basmati rice. What will be do then, eat dust? To quote from Partha Banerjee's article:

"I find it unbelievable that nobody is questioning and challenging the so-called democratic government of Pranab babu, Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi dynasty on how the 80 per cent poor—rural and urban—would now be able to find food or kerosene for their families, pay rent, or get healthcare for ageing parents. Does anybody really care?"

Vague fears are playing in my mind. What would the "aam admi" do? Cornered, vitiated, squeezed and scorned, where can he go when the multinational corporates and their denizens take away the spoils of war?

Meanwhile here's the ten part video of the documentary "The World According to Monsanto." For those who have the patience to sit and watch what the food chain will unfold.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, ,Part 8, Part 9, Part 10

1 comment:

ms said...

if the nation has survived the introduction of kiwi fruit, broccoli, persimmons, strawberries, romano tomatoes, williams pear, red delicious and granny smith apples, and a score of other foreign edibles, why the angst about the BT Brinjal? and the reasons for blocking its advent? pooh! pah! now, if they said that the efforts must be directed at improving the life of the farming community instead of toiling away for the hybrid baingan, i will understand and be the first to scream along with the rabid rabble. the US happily consumes what we send over to them, other countries have improved the quality of their produce, i remember the Genetically Modified produce debate that raged on in Oz and how it died down after a few summers. i see that the local vegetables and fruit are still thriving and readily available throughout the year. recently it was in the news that israelis, who produce the largest amount of fresh produce in the world,(no mean feat since they are in the centre of middle-east conflicts) have come into india to advise us about irrigation and agriculture. visit
and they are also in andhra pradesh. visit
so, i don't see how any help to better the quality of our fresh produce and hence imrove the lot of our farmers is not welcome in india. am i missing the point here?