The co-founder of CHS-Sachetan, Winin Pereira, would have been interested in the passage recently written by American attorney Ellen Brown:
“In the end, the Green Revolution engineered by Kissinger to control markets and ensure U.S. economic dominance may be our nemesis. In the U.S., only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. Most farmland is soaked in pesticides and herbicides.
“But the need for these toxic chemicals is a myth. In an October 2017 article in The Guardian, columnist George Monbiot cited studies showing that reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides actually increases production, because the pesticides harm or kill the pollinators on which crops depend. Rather than an international trade agreement that would enable giant transnational corporations to dictate to governments, he argues that we need a global treaty to regulate pesticides and require environmental impact assessments for farming”.
Pereira had long recognised that Western agriculture is unsustainable:
“It is often claimed that the green revolution, with its high yielding varieties (HYVs) is the main factor which has allowed an increase in food production, without which there would be extensive famines in the world. But this particular system of agriculture is dependent on the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides produced from mineral oil and natural gas, and on the use of fossil fuels for powering tractors, irrigation pumps and transport. Moreover, it has recently been discovered that the HYVs have a much reduced ability to store micronutrients like Vitamin A, iron, zinc and others. The loss of these essential nutrients to populations subsisting mainly on HYV cereals not only causes direct ill health but also has a major damaging impact on the immune system. While food production grew, an increasingly large number of people have suffered from extensive malnutrition and its consequences.” (Inhuman Rights, p89-90)
In the last post on this site, Devinder Sharma brought news of good farming practice in Andhra Pradesh, one of many instances – and in our archives I came across earlier news from Ramesh Menon, who wrote:
“Excessive amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers may be poisoning huge tracts in India, but there are small islands of sanity that are showing the way out of the poison spiral. One of them is Nasik district in Maharashtra. Over 600 farmers here have completely switched to organic farming. There is no looking back, and there are no regrets. Ask Abhilash Gorhe. He moved into farming after studying engineering at college. He used huge quantities of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. He was happy with his yields, and the good bank balance that went with it. But one day he asked himself what he was doing cultivating poison and then packaging it to ruin the health of the thousands who were consuming what he grew. That was it. He made a turnaround to organic farming using homegrown bio-pesticides and manure from the stables at the back of his house. If the manure fell short, he would buy it from suppliers in Mumbai. Initially his yields fell, but things are now picking up. The land he farms is rejuvenating to its natural health”.
“While the U.S. struggles to maintain its hegemony by economic coercion and military force, Russia is winning the battle for the health of the people and the environment.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned GMOs and has set out to make Russia the world’s leading supplier of organic food. Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots.
“In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments), predominantly organically. Dacha gardens produced more than 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, more than 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. (More information here.)
Russian author Vladimir Megre comments that Russian families demonstrate you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat.