Hi Patricia -
A while back you wrote:
<<1.- Can anyone give me information on bibliography, organizations, etc.
that discuss globalization related to agricultural development in 3rd world
One lead for information might be:
* Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), 116 New Montgomery, #810,
San Francisco, CA 94105. (415) 541-9140. Fax:(415) 541-9253. Email:
email@example.com. Web site: http://www.panna.org/panna/. Online mailing
list. Lots of international work, including re: ag. Also great info at
their web site, as well as links to many other sites.
You might also try the corporate watch web site (web
-http://www.corpwatch.org; email - firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as a general
search on the web for something like "globalization" and "agriculture" (and
maybe "international"). I bet you get plenty to keep you amused!
Some other leads:
*International Forum on Globalization
PO Box 12218
San Francisco, CA 94112
Looks at the international side of the corporate machine, focusing
on the effects of 'free trade' on jobs, the environment, and the
Third World. Publishes quarterly "IFG News", and offers tapes and
transcipts of their public 'teach-ins'.
1530 P St NW
Washington DC 20005
* agriculture in Argentina - http://www.openware.com.ar/massey
Also - I've included one piece below that I thought might be of interest to
you, and am separately sending to you and the list info on the book
Hope you find this info useful in your quest!
Best regards -
--- FORWARD ---
[The Multinational Monitor]
JUNE 1996 =B7 VOLUME 17 =B7 NUMBER 6
G U E S T C O L U M N
Seeds of Discontent
by Vandana Shiva
"I HOPE YOUR NEW LEGISLATION will provide a responsible and reasonable
protection to private seed companies, which will encourage them to provide
the best seeds available for your farmers," stated U.S. Secretary of
Agriculture Daniel Glickman at a January 29, 1996 address at the Indian
Institute of Agricultural Research. "There would be very few inventions of
anything, particularly in agriculture, without patent protection because it
is a fundamental fact of nature that people will not go through the expense
of development of new ideas just for the altruistic benefit of the human
<<PD NOTE: That last sentence is sure an assumption that reflects our times
- though there are plenty of counter-examples (ex. Albert Schweitzer,
etc.). Plus it denies the work cultures have done to develop plants that
work well in their area and climate.>>
Glickman also stressed the inevitability of farmers' dependence on
multinationals for seeds due to liberalization and its impact on
agriculture. "As income increases throughout Indian society, food needs
will change -- higher vegetable oil consumption, a shift from rice to wheat
in urban areas and some shifting from grain to poultry and livestock
products," he prophesied. "Also, the needs of the new food processing
industries will change according to new crop varieties in order to meet
changing consumer preferences."
<<PD NOTE: Inevitable to change their entire diet, society, and thus the
way they maintain their health?? Do they get a vote in this?? Or will we
just subsidize Coke and MacDonalds until they succumb to our diseases of
body and mind...??>>
In a few brief phrases, Glickman thus captured the current U.S.
intellectual property rights orthodoxy, and the U.S. strategic vision of
opening up the agrarian sectors of countries with substantial newly
emerging middle classes. As an historic matter, however, the idea that
people do not innovate or generate knowledge unless they can derive private
profits is wrong. Greed is not a "fundamental fact of human nature" but a
dominant tendency in societies that reward it. In the areas of seeds and
plant genetic resources, innovation of both the "formal" and "informal"
system has so far been guided mostly by a concern for the larger human
But U.S. designs on Indian agriculture and the Indian food industry are
based on principles other than human good. As Glickman's comments suggest
when decoded, the U.S. government is coercing the Indian government to
introduce unhealthy fat- and meat-rich diets through expansion of U.S.
agribusiness, agroprocessing and fast-food industries. The proposal is to
replace the small peasant and farmer-based agricultural economy of India
with agribusiness-controlled industrial agriculture.
This shift is associated with a transformation of farmers as breeders and
reproducers of their own seed supply to farmers as consumers of proprietary
seed from the seed industry. It is also a shift from a food economy based
on millions of farmers as autonomous producers to a food system controlled
by a handful of multinationals that control both inputs and output. This is
a recipe for food insecurity, biodiversity erosion and uprooting of farmers
from the land.
U.S. and other defenders of stringent intellectual property right
protection for seeds say patents will not stop traditional farmers from
using native seeds. But as an essential part of a package of
agribusiness-controlled agriculture in which farmers no longer grow native
seeds but seeds supplied by the multinational corporate seed industry,
intellectual property rights become a means of monopoly that wipe out
farmers' rights to save and exchange seed. That is, once farmers switch to
industry-provided seeds, they will lose their right to engage in
traditional, economical practices of seed saving.
This leads farmers -- and the country -- down a very slippery slope ending
in multinational totalitarianism in agriculture. Multinationals will decide
what is grown by farmers, what they use as inputs and when they sell their
produce, to whom and at what price. They will also decide what is eaten by
consumers, at what price and with what content, and how much information is
made available to them about the nature of food commodities.
In this emerging new world, the U.S. Ambassador is fast becoming like the
Resident in the days of the East Indian Company rule. The only difference
is that now there are many East India Companies, including multinationals
like Pepsico and agribusiness giants such as Cargill, which are being
allowed to set up fully owned trading houses for farm products and
agricultural inputs in India. The U.S. government official agencies are
acting on their behalf and are in turn coercing Indian government agencies
to also become instruments of the multinationals' interests.
Under the new corporate rule, the agencies of the government of India are
on the one hand becoming subject to U.S. and international policy set by
the World Trade Organization. On the other hand, they are becoming active
promoters of U.S. agribusiness and active destroyers of the livelihoods of
small peasants. This deliberate destruction by policy is evident in the
statement of Gokul Patnaik, the head of the Agricultural and Processed Food
Export Development Authority (APEDA). By 2001, he stated, Indian
agriculture would be fully corporatized -- in the process explicitly
admitting that this would imply the destruction of small farmers. Further
evidence of Patnaik and APEDA's anti-farmer, pro-corporate orientation is
provided by the fact that Gokul Patnaik is a member of the U.S.-India
Commercial Alliance, a business group aimed at promoting the entry of U.S.
corporations into the Indian market.
Confronting agricultural corporatization
Indian farmers have undertaken spectacular organizing efforts in an attempt
to head off the colonization and corporatization of Indian agriculture. On
March 7, 1996, 200,000 farmers from across the country, especially the
northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana,
gathered at Kisan Ghat for a "desh bachao" (save the country) Mahapanchayat
(the traditional meeting form of direct democracy based on consensus) and
rally. The Panchayat had been called by Bjaratiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader
Ch.Mahendra Singh Tikait to respond to the political and moral crisis
facing farmers as a result of the new economic policy.
Addressing the rally were Ch.Tikait, Vineet Narayan, who filed a Supreme
Court case that exposed corruption in politics and created an unprecedented
transformation in Indian politics, Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy, president of
the farmers association KRRS, Ch.Rishi Pal Ambavata, president of the Yuva
BKU, Swami Dayandand, convenor of the national movement against meat
exports, other leaders of the farmers' movements and myself.
At the Panchayat, leaders of the farmers' movement debated how to influence
politics and elect representatives genuinely representing farmers'
interests without losing the direct and participatory democratic fabric of
the farmers' organization. The consensus-building process took five hours,
after which there was a brief public rally at which the farmers' leaders
and invited guests addressed the farmers who gathered at Kisan Ghat.
The Mahapanchayat decided that the BKU would continue to be the farmers'
organization transcending party politics. However, given the political
vacuum that has been created by the corruption scandals that have touched
the leaders of most parties, the BKU decided to set up a political
committee of nine representatives of farmers' organizations to oversee the
political process and ensure that the candidates supported by farmers'
organizations were concerned about peoples' survival and had a record of
honesty and accountability. This is the first time the farmers'
organizations have formed a unified front to bring accountability into
The Mahapanchayat also resolved that the farmers would not allow the
alienation of their resources -- land, water, animal wealth and seeds.
The farmers condemned the undoing of the land reform policies to enable
multinational corporations and industrial houses to buy agricultural land
for growing luxury crops for export. They announced that these transactions
were illegal and that they would take steps to ensure agricultural land
supported the livelihood of primary producers of staple foods -- the
landless and small farmers.
They committed themselves to fighting the World Bank policies of
privatization of water resources and declared that water rights were common
rights, not market rights. The utilization and distribution of water would
be determined by the direct democratic decisions at the Panchayat and Gram
Sabha levels, they stated.
The farmers condemned new export policies that encourage the slaughtering
of farm animals for meat exports. They pledged to fight for a ban on these
exports and on slaughterhouses. They also pledged to take steps at the
farmers' level to prevent the total destruction of India's animal wealth,
without which small-scale and sustainable peasant agriculture is
impossible. In condemning the slaughter of farm animals for meat exports,
the Mahapanchayat pledged that any farmer selling cattle to slaughterhouses
would be subjected to a social boycott.
Expressing the sense of the gathering, Ch.Mahendra Singh Takait said in a
moving speech to the rally, "Our cows and buffaloes give us milk like our
mothers. Would we sell our mothers for slaughter when they become old? Our
bullocks work with us in our fields for 15 years. Would we sell our fathers
for slaughter when they are old? All that our old cattle require is a
little space for sleeping, one cob of corn and one bucket of water. Give
them at least that much for the service they have rendered through their
Indian farmers have been resisting the privatization and monopolization of
seed by the seed industry through new intellectual property rights regimes.
The farmers committed themselves to continue their non-cooperation against
any unjust law aimed at undermining farmers' rights. They also committed
themselves to saving and utilizing farmers' seeds as the basis of a
self-reliant and free system of agricultural production not enslaved by the
laws and policies designed for the corporatization of agriculture.
In addition, they announced that the farmers' debt is illegitimate since it
is linked to a disproportionate increase of input costs without a matching
increase in the price of agricultural commodities, thus creating profits
for the agribusiness industry at both ends of the production process -- the
selling of inputs and the buying of commodities. Farmers have always been
blamed for higher food prices, but the majority of farmers are unable to
make ends meet in an agricultural system in which costs of production are
becoming higher than the prices of agricultural commodities. Food prices in
India are rising due to the trade liberalization policies in agriculture
where the market prices of food are being allowed to move up to
international levels, thus taking food out of reach of the rural and urban
The farmers did not make any political demands because they believe the
political system is not responsive. Instead, they took a pledge to promote
a moral society based on harmony between different castes and religions,
free of corruption and exploitation, ensuring respect to all communities
and all species. The BKU now has many women's leaders at the local levels.
One of the BKU women's representatives in her speech at the rally stated
that all the political parties are working toward disintegration and
division of rural India along caste and religious lines. Only the farmers'
organizations are working to hold the rural community together while
removing inequalities between castes and religions, she said.
The BKU will need to be a strong moral and political force based on
diverse, pluralistic and composite cultures in order to represent the
survival interests of rural India -- Bharat -- in the face of the assault
from the multinational corporations and their partners in the urban elite
as well as from the forces of communalized and caste-based politics.
# END #