Genetics – Grain – Profits

IMG_1616Food, water and shelter are the basic necessities of life. With the growth in population, these very necessities are the pressure point of daily life.  In my earlier post “bursting at the seams” I had chronicled the problem of population explosion in the lesser developed countries (LDC) in contrast with population decline in the more developed countries.

The irony is that our solutions seem to be opposite to the problem. For instance, the developed nations provide heavy subsidies to large farming operations to compete in dairy as well as food Grain production. This makes it difficult for the farmers in LDC to survive given that they have smaller farm holdings and are dependent of rain for irrigation. While the farmers in more developed countries have modern methods or marketing and distribution, the poor farmer in LDC has to depend on middle men and a less organzed market place and in the process loses potential income.

One of the contentious issues in most world trade agreements is the issue of subsidy for farming and dairy. LDC’s have traditionally not been able to get a fair deal for their farmers and in countries like India, there have been cases of farmers committing suicide due to debt burden.

Another example of solution running counter to the problem is the fact that GMO seeds are being touted as a humanitarian answer to the hunger of the growing population. It is being positioned as disease resistant, drought resistant and a sure thing for the farmer. Increased productivity can provide more grains from less land and ensure availability of food for the growing population. However, if such seeds are sterile and the farmer cannot save seeds from this years crop to use for next year, then what is the point? If the farmer has to continue to buy seeds every year and natural seeds are extinct, you can imagine the power of any corporation that manufactures seed!  This will be an example of taking something nature gives for free and making modifications and patenting it for profit. If a song was modified and published, the artiste will be sued for plagiarism and revenue share. Here it is a far more important matter but is not being given the due importance.

The ideal solution would be for voluntary population control and we can live within the resources that Earth provides. If we multiply like rabbits and keep on depleting the earth of resources and polluting the atmosphere, we will be nothing but a race of ravaging creatures who have to move from planet to planet like locusts leaving a dead planet behind. Unfortunately our financial, corporate and political terms of engagement seem to set us firmly on this course.


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