Most of my blog posts are about traditional woodworking and traditional crafts but I am also passionately interested in traditional agriculture globally and locally. Perhaps surprisingly only 30% of the worlds food is produced by the industrialised farming methods we are so familiar with in the developed West, this system is designed to work with large acreages of land under monoculture, very few people working the land, lots of machines and lots of chemical input. It is a very efficient way of making money for large corporations.
70% of the worlds food is produced by small independent farmers growing a diverse range of local varieties of crops, this provides useful work for many people, the genetic diversity is our best protection against variable climate but it does not produce profit for large corporations. This system is under threat. The large Western corporations would like the 70% to buy their seed and chemicals. There is worldwide resistance to this yet still the UK Government just committed £100 Million to developing GM.
“What is remarkable is not that GM crops have, after 20 years and so much money spent, now reached 19 out of more than 150 developing countries, but that most nations have managed to keep out a rapacious industry” good article
This 30 minute film gives a good overview of what is happening right now.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/43879272 w=500&h=281]
I am not really one for Biblical quotes but seed saving is so deep in our culture that to make seed saving a criminal offence is to me a crime in itself.
Genesis 1;12 “The Earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to it’s kind. And God saw that it was good.”
and on the 8th day Monsanto patented seed and prosecuted anyone that saved their the seed so that they could become rich.
If we go that route it really can’t end well.
More info on seeds of freedom here