Profit driven Agriculture causing famines and soil degradation.
By, Uwe Paschen.
Modern, new and high tech is not always the anther to our problems. This is especially true when it comes to agriculture and its environmental impact. Most importantly would be the long-term impact here; since some application may give great results at first with over 200% higher yield's and subsequent profits.
However, in the long run those methods may very well cause a great disaster accompany by the very famines and desertification that the new technology and methods where suppose to eradicate for ever.
This due to the two opposing philosophies here, on the one hand we have Modern farming wish involves, “GMO, Pesticides, Herbicides, Toxins, Heavy machinery, Centralisation, dependence from Monsanto and Pioneer, Fierce competition, Domination over Nature, Specialisation (mono cultures) and Exploitation (similar to the principal of pest).”
On the other hand we have Organic or Ecological responsible agriculture, this once building blocks are lasting and highly adaptive, because they rely on the principals of “Decentralisation (adapting to once environment), Independence (seed cultures adapted to a particular area and climate), Community, Harmony with Nature, Diversity (essential for adaptation to changes) and restrain (not taking more then one can give back).
Why it is so vital that the Planing and implementing in agriculture has to be made with great care and very long foresight? Simply because money and profits as well as opportunism and stock market shares are the source of mismanagement resulting in natural as well as humanitarian disaster.
This especially in areas that are already very vulnerable with a fragile ecosystem, whose balance can be tipped with the slightest mistake or excess. Such is the case of the Sub Sahara region and the equatorial rain forest.
Today, American companies such as Pioneer and Monsanto are trying to force their products and ways onto the African continent in order to increase their sales and profits, this to satisfy their stock holders, all the wile accusing those that oppose this endeavour of trying to maintain famines and poverty through out the Sub Sahara region in Africa.
Pioneer and Monsanto have already caused great harm, this not only in Asia where they gave GMO seeds away at first and encouraged the farmers to sale or eat their own seed reserves. This resulted in a dependence of those GMO seeds since the native seeds where now gone. Further those GMO seeds ended up requiring more chemicals and fertiliser then the native seeds did and yet did not bring in the promised higher yeild's nor more profits. In most cases, the opposite happened, resulting in mass suicides and even famines.
The US government is not only supporting companies such as Pioneer and Monsanto. The US does even fight every one and any one that opposes the ludicrous promises those claim and that by now have been proven to be, not only false or misleading, but even criminal and this not only from a humanitarian point of view, but also from an ecological perspective.
Study after study can show that farming with Chemicals, CMO and heavy machinery does not improve or create higher yeild's, nor does it generate more profits then Organic farming. The opposite does happen over the long run. GMO do require large amount of Chemicals, these burn the topsoil and render it useless with in a generation or two. Depleting the top soil of all its valuable and essential organic building block. Further, this does destabilise the ego-balance all the wile causing desertification and contaminating the ground water with Nitrates and phosphates in great excesses. Those chemicals do eventually reach the rivers, lakes and the oceans, causing massive growth of algae’s that deplete the water of oxygen, wish ends up killing its fauna.
Meanwhile Organic farming, when conducted properly, does try to give back to the soil what it took all the wile adapting the crop to the soil and climate rather then adapting the soil and climate to the crop.
Introducing GMO seeds and more chemicals in the Sub Sahara area of Africa would cause further degradation of the already over-stressed top soil and not only deplete the ground water levels more rapidly, it would contaminate the remaining fresh water with Nitrates and phosphates causing massive pollution, that in turn would affect the fauna and human population with disastrous consequences.
A good example how wrong the IMF, World Bank and US lead profit orientated thinking is, would be the introduction of rice cultures in a Sub Sahara environment such as Niger.
The IMF, the US and Monsanto supported this crop. Further the World Bank granted loans for fertiliser to improve the Yeild's . Rice being a crop that demands large amount of water was supposed to solve the problem of famines in country plagued by droughts and over population.
This contributed to lower the water level of the Niger River further and contaminated the ground water with Nitrate concentrations as high as 10-meq l−1. (The 10-mg/l standard expressed as nitrogen (N) is equivalent to 45 mg/l expressed as nitrate.) To identify the source(s) of this pollution, (nitrate and the15N contents) the polluted wells were monitored over a 20-month period by the University of Montreal in Quebec. Those level have increased since this initial study of 1996 by a factor of 8 and exceed the US maximum levels of Nitrate considered safe from Human consumption by a factor of 12, wish is highly dangerous for infants because they may cause methemologlobinemi a, a condition known as “blue baby.”
High nitrate levels interrupt the normal body processes of some infants. Nitrate becomes toxic when it is reduced to nitrite, a process that can occur in the stomach as well as in the saliva. Infants are especially susceptible because their stomach juices are less acidic and therefore are conducive to the growth of nitrate-reducing bacteria.
The crops native to Niger, like Millet , Sorghum and Anasazi bean, all high in fibber, starch and protein and highly adapted to the arid climates, where neglected due to subsidy that promoted Rice and imported food at low cost.
This has not only contributed to new famines and caused pollution as well as water shortages. More over it has created a dependency off imported food since much of the rural population fled the land and abandoned farming native crops to establish them self in large Cities, now working for co-operations owned rice fields, funded by the IMF, the World Bank with subsidy from the Industrial nations. This is a major disaster that is yet to unfold it self. A Human and environmental catastrophe that is making Monsanto and its stockholders richer though.
Still, Monsanto and co do want more and demand to implement this madness through out the sub Sahara and the rest of the World. When will we finally wake up and say enough is enough?
How much more land and lives are we willing to sacrifice before we stop this destruction of our environment and Societies?