Eating Tomorrow Blog Post March 4, 2022

It’s fascinating to learn about how deeply commercialized the efforts to promote sustained agriculture are in many regions of Africa. I found the essentially forced adoption of the North American, and other lab engineered seeds, fertilizers, and methodologies within Africa to be a clear cut example of how the greed of major organizations, and the adoption of misleading narratives can give rise to massively exploitative programs that operate under the guise of support. Learning that many of Africa’s major government managed agricultural organizations, or methods were being funded through many private, American groups, such as the one started by Bill Gates, shows how quickly these African Governments were to disregard the voices of their own farmers, in favour of those spouted by these large scale corporations. I found the information regarding how these man-made crops, fertilizers, and pesticides essentially kills the land that these crops are grown in by the depletion of minerals and nutrients in the soil, while also creating “super weeds” that become highly resistant to these pesticides over prolonged use quite alarming since this only creates long term problems where they are lauded for their short term benefits. The “Malawai Miracle” and its rise and fall as discussed in the first excerpt was quite informative in many ways, especially in regards to how it gave rise to new markets that had previously been non-existent in region previously which was the seed & fertilizer providers. The many problems that were created during this supposed “Miracle” were quite damning, such as how the cost of the new seeds and synthetic fertilizers created a deficit in the profits of these farmers over the long term implementation of these new seeds and fertilizers. The most crippling aspect of these new crops which stood out to me was how dependent these seeds were on their synthetic fertilizers and how over prolonged usage these seeds would require substantially more of this fertilizer than previous harvests, coupled with the low supply and high cost of said fertilizer made it very difficult for any farmer using these seeds to accrue optimal yield of said seeds. This issue coupled with the purchase of the region’s own seed company by Mosanto which once I read this quickly understood why the dependence on these seeds was so dire, as well as why new varieties of crops weren’t being used was due to corporate greed. (End of First Excerpt) The second excerpt’s discussion of Mexico and its own maize diversity being a key aspect as to why the government of Mexico was vehemently denying the introduction of GMO maize varieties was quite the yin to the yang of the previous article since both discussed Mosanto in the bulk of their texts. It clear that the risks of contamination to the native raised varieties of maize throughout Latin America is something that should be taken very seriously, and I was pleased to see just how quick, efficient, and detailed the initial investigations headed by Jose Sarukhan was in the early years of this investigation. The information regarding the pollination of maize as well as the culture of “experimentation” by Mexican Farmers was quite understandable due to both how ease-ably transmission was for the pollen especially in regards to how far it can travel, as well has quickly these seeds can travel either by man made or even natural means such as native life can pose serious problems to the bio-diversity of Mexico. The grip these multinational firms have in the agriculture industry is both clear and also corrupt, in that these corporations are able to swing their profits around in order to get support from the United States government in order to dissuade or even outright deny the objections and evidence provided by Mexican farmers and the experts supporting them. The use of patenting a seed variety was something I found to be in equal parts stupid and corrupt as even the author discusses how Mosanto brought legal actions against unsuspecting or ill-informed farmers whose crops were subjected to the cross-pollination without their consent. Its clear that many of these Multi-national firms simply wish to gain a foothold in the maize economy in Mexico and are willing to do whatever they want to insure that it happens, such as the falsely created statistics heralded by Oyervide.

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