Wednesday, October 26, 2011

when farmers go hungry

“A year ago the food summit was taking place. How do you solve the problem of a billion people going hungry on a regular basis, something humanity has never suffered before? Hunger throughout human history has been localized in space and time. In some places some people starved for a short while, because of a drought, because of a flood, because of a war. But that permanently a billion people would be denied food is an achievement of a world based on capital intensive farming, control of agribusiness over agriculture, and systems of food production and food distribution designed not for human welfare, but for corporate welfare. That’s why we have hunger today. We have hunger because farmers who have to buy the seeds and the chemicals can’t afford to keep the food they’ve grown. They have to sell it immediately just to pay back the debt. And what they sell at a quarter price, they have to buy at four times the price just to eat as food. Most people who are hungry today are rural people who are producing food. Earlier hunger was an urban phenomenon. Now it is has become a problem faced by producers of food, which should tell us something is wrong with the way we are producing food.”

-- Vandana Shiva, "About Biotechnology."
Speech available for download here

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