Ensuring our food security

Since the dawn of civilizations agriculture is one sector that impacts and in turn is impacted the most by environment. Hence sustainability of the human race and this world depends a lot on the environmental friendliness of our agriculture.

India is facing a food crisis thanks to the systematic destruction of farmlands and food production systems over the last five decades through uncontrolled use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, mono-cropping and other intensive agricultural practices. Instead of looking at the real problem the government is favouring false solutions like genetically engineered (GE) food crops.

Ecological farming is the answer to the problems being faced by agriculture in our country today. It will also keep agriculture sustainable. This form of agriculture conserves our soil and water resources, protects our climate, enhances agro-diversity, ensures biodiversity, meets the demand for food and safeguards livelihoods. In short, it ensures that the environment thrives, the farm is productive, the farmer makes a net profit and society has enough nutritious food.

India has a long history of agriculture. Over centuries, farmers in this country devised practices to keep our farms sustainable. Practices like mixed cropping, crop rotation, using organic manure and pest management kept our agriculture sustainable. But things changed for the worse with the onslaught of a chemical intensive model of agriculture, imposed through the so called Green Revolution in 1965.

It was therefore not surprising when the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development [IAASTD], an initiative of the United Nations and World Bank, concluded that small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods are the way forward if the current food crisis is to be solved. This initiative involved a three year review of all the agricultural technologies in the past 50 years by around 400 scientists across the world.  

The IAASTD said that to meet the needs of local communities, indigenous and local knowledge need to be declared as important as formal science. This is a significant departure from the destructive chemical-dependent, one-size-fits-all model of industrial agriculture. The report also acknowledges that genetically engineered crops are highly controversial and will not play a substantial role in addressing the key problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, hunger and poverty.

Campaign story:

Greenpeace is not opposed to science nor is it opposed to finding more efficient farming methods. But we will not stand for the wilful destruction of the soil, water and biodiversity for the gains of corporates. Nor will we let human beings be treated as guinea pigs to test new crops. Keeping this in mind the sustainable agriculture campaign is currently focused on the following:

Fertiliser Campaign: Degraded soil with diminishing fertility, food full of toxins, huge carbon footprints and empty coffers. This is exactly what chemical fertilizers are doing in this country. It’s time to shift from these to ecological means of cultivation proved to be successful in several parts of the country. 

GE Campaign: Touted as the perfect solution to the food crisis, GE crops will only worsen it. Among other things, they pose a threat to human health and compromise on food safety. GE crops should not be released into the open at any cost.

The latest updates

 

When will governments learn that GE crops are uncontrollable?

Blog entry by Janet Cotter | June 3, 2013

Shockwaves are being felt across the world's wheat markets following the first-ever discovery of unauthorised genetically engineered wheat growing on a US farm – a development that gives further proof that GE crops cannot be...

Greenpeace India launches Living Soils campaign in Bihar

Feature story | March 20, 2013 at 16:30

Although farmers do one of the most important jobs on Earth, they are the biggest group of the poor and hungry in the world. About 40% of the world's population are small-scale farmers and they produce most of the food we eat. What an irony that...

Twitter debate on genetically modified food

Blog entry by Rachita Taneja | February 26, 2013

One hundred and forty characters seem like nothing- but on Twitter, they can mean a lot. Being able to reach out to thousands of individuals (and maybe some bots) within a couple of minutes is a boon. If you can use this concept for...

Support for food security

Image gallery | February 26, 2013

Genetic Modification: not the route to food security

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | February 20, 2013

Hunger and malnutrition is an issue that governments around the world are grappling with and its manifestations can be felt more severely in the developing and under-developed nations. India is no different in this regard; we stand way...

GM Crops 2013: No panacea to food security

Publication | February 20, 2013 at 10:00

An infographic on Genetically Modified food. Genetically Modified crops commercialised for nearly 20 years. Industry data indicates a rejection by majority of the countries to adopt this controversial technology.

GM corn: a looming threat to our food and farming

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | February 8, 2013

Monsanto's Bt corn is the new Bt brinjal. No, it is not up for approval to be authorised for the market. Yet it has reached the stage of large-scale open field trials at six locations across the country from early 2010 until late 2012.

How will the world react if India says no to GE food?

Blog entry by Rajesh Krishnan | August 18, 2012

Genetically engineered (GE) food is a hot button topic in India. What happens here often sends ripples throughout the GE debate worldwide, but what happened last week is surely a major milestone. The Parliamentary Standing...

Genetically engineered Bt brinjal and the implications for plant biodiversity - revisited

Publication | May 3, 2012 at 9:00

Concerns over the commercial release of genetically modified (GM), Bt brinjal, also called aubergine or talong, relate to biosafety. One major concern is the potential for transgene flow from Bt brinjal to wild, weedy and cultivated relatives. As...

The journey to the World’s Biggest Baingan Bharta: A public movement

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | September 16, 2011

On September 6, Greenpeace along with citizens for a GM free India prepared the World’s Biggest GM-Free Baingan Bharta. The whole exercise was fun and saw an audience of around 200 people which included farmer leaders like Yudhvir...

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