Desperate Farmers of a dying environment.
By, Uwe Paschen.
For decades now Farm communities around the globe have been bleeding by several factors. Politics comes to mind as well as Industry and mismanagement by the WTO, the respective governments and IMF as well as WB. Countless UN and EU as well BMZ and JICA reports and studies have been warning of the stress and unreasonable demands put on the Farm communities through out the world.
News articles and documentaries over the past decades have been mentioning the negative impact of our policies, trade regulations and industry and the impact those have on the Farm communities as well as the environment over all.
One of the symptoms we can monitor is the ever-increasing suicide rate among farmers and statistics as well as environmental degradation and dept –equity ratios.
To look for a single villain here is not only dangerous, more so misleading. Why the problem is not so simple and wont be an easy one to fix either.
This started some 60 years ago with a serry of bad decisions followed by even worth decisions to fix the initial problems caused in the post WWII era.
After the second WW, we where left with massive devastation through out Europe and Asia, as well as with a incredible amount of bombs and ammunition stocks, that no one knew what to do with. Except for some very smart Chemist, that believed that they fund the way to solve the Weapons arsenal surplus as well as the food shortage dilemma that we where faced with at the time and not to forget the Baby Boom, meaning more food was needed.
This was the beginning of a long line of mismanagement that leads us to today troubles.
The compounds used in Bombs and ammunition are the same then in fertilizer, we simply converted Weapons into fertilizer and this lead to mass monocultures of Maize and soy as well as wheat, rice and potato.
We encouraged farmers to go big and when that did not work we forced them to do so with programs and penalizing those that would not comply because they believed that those mono cultures where a big mistake in the long run.
Once we established this new system through out North America, Europe and latter even Asia, Africa and South America we started to run into trouble with pollution due to excess fertilizer being washed away into the creeks and water table, this due to bare top soils and mono cultures over wast areas. Erosion of good organic matter followed as well, due to the burning of the topsoil with those synthetic fertilizers, and the monocultures as well as wind and water erosion wish are unavoidable in monocultures.
All those troubles caused by some bad political decisions lead to GMO, the believed saviour of all our troubles. As once the fertiliser and herbicides as well as pesticides where suppose to fix all problem of a post World War World, faced with a population explosion and needing all it s labour in the rebuilding of the nations rather then in agriculture. Why the farmers had to comply and become industrialised disregarding the environment and generations of common sense and know how.
After some time we where faced with massive over productions since Farmers ended up being better then expected and more innovative then anticipated. Why we forced on the creation of the WTO and forced third world countries to buy our surpluses or in many cases, we just gave them those in the name of aid and development. This lead to the destruction of local farm communities in Africa and Asia and forced a massive migration to the cities causing poverty and unemployment as well as the lack of farmers now able to produce food wish lead to a chronic dependence on food aid. This we cured with GMO. First, we gave away the GMO as a drug dealer would do with Crack or Cocaine and encouraged them to disregard their own seeds, promising them the sky and heaven with GMO.
Once they where hooked and had no longer their own seeds to fall back on. They discovered that the GMO where engineered so that they could not be used for planting again once harvested and that one was now forced to buy new seeds in order to be able to plant again.
This lead to massive problem and hight dept load for the farmers now forced to buy seeds and all that was left to buy where of course GMO seeds. No different then drug dealing only legal and in this case with the help of governments and taxpayers money.
We do have a real disaster on our hands and this through out the World. Trying to find genuine and original seeds today is as much a challenge as it would be to find a model T Ford truck. Wish bring the price up of course and makes it rather difficult to go back to the way Grand Dad farmed in a responsible way and in balance with the environment.
What make this even worth is the fact that Farmers are a special breed of people, they main goal is not to make money, even less to get rich, but rather to maintain the land and the history as well as the family farm. This is why death seems the only way out for more and more of them. Because Farming Is not a job, it their life and way of life, there are bound to the land and their environment as a tree would be and they die once uprooted or poisoned by Monsanto or bad government policies.
In Canada wile there we had several suicide that where covered up as Farm accidents so the family could at least get the life insurance to keep the farm and get out of the dept, at least partially. In Japan and Europe Life-insurance is not a choice and yet many chose death rather then having to see the farm go under, they die with the farm.
I was broth up differently and have become more of a weed then a tree. This due my family having lost the farms they build up and this five time since the seventeens century. Due to wars and invasions for the most part. We just learned to be stubborn, rebuild and fight back, maybe why we never feel into the Monsanto trap or the government grand trap forcing us into a direction that was not wise nor good for the environment. Had I not enjoyed the benefit of generations of hardship and learned to go my own way as a farmer, I may very well be among those that would have taken their own lives. I am still a thorn in the eyes of Monsanto and Purina as well as Pioneer and Hoechst. Eventually the parasite that they are will perish; unfortunately, not before they destroyed the host they feed on, unless the host destroys them first.
The task at hand to fix all this may seem overwhelming, however vital to undertake for the sake of all of humanity. No better time then right now to start, yet this time with out profit as primary goal but rather sustainability and ecology.
Sources and references.
Michael Tippett his post lead me to write this.