Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

IRRI's IRRELEVANT BANGLADESH CONCERT EXAMPLE

Expand Messages
  • Saleem Samad
    From: Saleem Samad IRRI s IRRELEVANT BANGLADESH CONCERT EXAMPLE After reading the response of IRRI Information Office may have immense
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 1, 2001
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      From: Saleem Samad <saleem@...>

      IRRI's IRRELEVANT BANGLADESH CONCERT EXAMPLE

      After reading the response of IRRI Information Office may have immense
      argument on behalf of cereal production to feed the hungry millions, but
      they cited the example of Bangladesh hunger issue, they seems to have made
      the contention wrong.

      (1) The Concert for Bangladesh was organised in Madison Square Garden, New
      York in 1971, not In 1970.

      (2) The concert was organised by Ustad Ravi Sankar, where of course George
      Harrison, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mike Jagger and others performed to raise
      funds to feed the hungry refugees who fled Bangladesh war of independence.
      Ten million refugees, the world largest refugees poured into the camps in
      adjoining states of India in fear of persecution, atrocities genocide,
      ethnic cleansing unleashed by Pakistan troops.

      (3) Of course there was hunger, it was caused from the war and not from
      famine or crop loss due to drought.

      (4) Despite significant increase of cereal production in Bangladesh,
      low-intensity malnutrition among wide population of children and adolescent
      persists caused from hunger.

      (5) Development economists argue that it is not increased food production
      which may not encourage the nation to increase calorie intake of
      disadvantaged people, but food security and poverty reduction would
      definitely manage the situation.

      I hope this few points would clarify the situation arisen from the IRRI's
      irrelevant case study.

      Saleem Samad
      Coordinator
      Like-Minded Environmental Activists Group Bangladesh (LMEAG)
      email <lmeag_bangladesh@...>
      ______________________________________________
      At 07:11 PM 08/31/01 +0600, IRRI wrote:

      (The following statement by the Philippines-based International Rice
      Research Institute (IRRI) is in response to the recent document on the use
      of patents in the rice industry issued by a group of 10 Asian NGOs and other
      concerned citizens.)

      There were a number of claims in the NGO document that misrepresented the
      Institute's position on important issues in rice research and how they
      impact on the lives of poor rice farmers and consumers. For the record,
      IRRI's mission for the past 40 years has been "to improve the well-being of
      present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly
      those with low incomes."

      The recent NGO document states: "The so-called "Green Revolution",
      spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in
      collaboration with national agricultural research systems, has been in fact
      a chemical take-over of rice farming." This not only misrepresents the
      achievements of the Green Revolution, but is also inaccurate as efforts to
      reduce pesticide and fertilizer use in Asian rice production are now so
      widespread and common as to be accepted as everyday activities.

      Those of us who are old enough to remember the early days of the Green
      Revolution in the 1960s will recall quite clearly an Asia very different
      from today; most Asian nations were sadly too familiar with starvation,
      poverty and social uncertainty on scale simply unknown in many parts of the
      region today. There were no environmental movements, no middle classes and
      very little in the way of the quality of life now available for many rice

      farmers and consumers today.

      Back then, the simple aim of many families was to ensure that everyone
      could just get enough to eat. To give one example, some may be able to
      recall the Concert for Bangladesh in 1970 organized by the former Beatle,
      George Harrison to try and help the thousands dying of hunger at the time in
      Bangladesh. Thanks to increases in rice production, such famines are now a
      thing of the past in Bangladesh

      To the enormous credit of those dedicated scientists who uprooted their
      families and moved out to Asia to try and do what they could to prevent
      further suffering, the Green Revolution did achieve its basic and most
      important goal - it allowed many countries, such as Bangladesh, to produce
      enough rice so everyone would have enough to eat.

      In much of Asia, plentiful cheap rice has been the propelling force behind
      economic, political and social stability. Rice - produced as a result of
      the Green Revolution - has kept the continent nourished, employed and
      relatively peaceful. The true Asian miracle has not been stunning economic
      growth, but keeping people fed in the face of relentless population growth.

      In the late 1970s, it was the stability assured by food security that
      allowed the Asian region to start addressing a whole range of other issues
      such as the environment, continuing poverty and social inequality.
      Researchers realized that the initial high input agriculture of the Green
      Revolution was unsustainable and so by the mid-1980s important new
      strategies such Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biological controls
      started to be developed.

      For more than a decade, scientists at IRRI have been firmly committed to
      helping rice farmers reduce the inappropriate use of pesticides and
      fertilizers. Their achievements, especially in the past few years, are a
      matter of public record and beyond dispute. In countries such as Vietnam
      and China, the Institute's researchers have had major successes not only in
      getting farmers to reduce the use of pesticides but - at the same time -
      also improve their incomes. On its own experimental farm, the Institute has
      reduced pesticide use by more than 60 per cent.

      To label such activities a "chemical take-over of rice farming" is clearly a
      misrepresentation. On many occasions, as a result of IRRI's research the
      opposite effect has been observed with the Institute's work clearly reducing
      the amount of pesticides being purchased by farmers. This shift to
      sustainable production research is now deeply ingrained in the Institute's
      agenda and scientific programs

      The NGO document also states: "Consequently, farmers lost their seeds,
      their knowledge, their self-confidence and their unique cultural heritage."
      While it is true that farmer decisions to grow modern varieties have led to a
      reduction in biodiversity in farmers' fields, few varieties have been lost
      forever. On the contrary, the world's rice varieties are all stored safely
      and carefully in the International Rice Genebank at IRRI.
      Samples are freely available to everyone, including farmers and NGOs, as
      the Institute manages the genebank under the FAO and in trust for
      humankind. For farmer testimony on how this genebank has been crucial in
      protecting biodiversity those interested could travel to Cambodia where
      farmers lost their traditional varieties during years of war but had them
      restored by IRRI and the nation now exports rice. Or, to the Cagayan valley
      in the Philippines where farmers lost varieties during a typhoon but had them
      restored by IRRI . Or, to East Timor where rice farmers looking for their

      traditional varieties have also been able to access the IRRI genebank.

      But rice researchers have not stopped there. On-farm seed conservation has
      for some time been recognized as an essential tool of sustainable rice
      production and is a practice that IRRI actively encourages and seeks to
      support.

      Finally, the NGO document turns its attention to the biotechnology debate.
      Despite repeated public statements, IRRI is continually - and unfairly -
      labeled as pro-biotech. The Institute instead is firmly committed to a
      policy of objective evaluation. It does a great disservice to our many
      important donors in the European Union to suggest otherwise. The Institute
      seeks simply the freedom to conduct research that will provide the facts -
      good and bad - on such things as Bt Rice that will allow each rice-producing
      nation to make up its own mind about GMOs.

      IRRI is also committed to helping the world's rice producing nations build
      their own biotechnology expertise so they can form their own expert opinions
      about such research and not have to rely on scientists and organizations
      from other countries.
      To quote from a discussion paper published last year in the influential
      American magazine SCIENCE that was co-authored by a number of IRRI
      scientists including the Institute's director general, Ronald P. Cantrell,
      "There is growing concern that the poor will not be adequately served by
      the new science (of biotechnology). ... In addition to public access to
      information on gene function in rice and public access for research on any
      proprietary product derived from biological assets, we seek access for the
      limited use of products in developing countries." In short, IRRI is also
      concerned about the impact of patenting on rice research for the poor.

      For more than four decades, IRRI has been committed to listening closely to
      the opinions and voices of poor rice farmers and consumers and then working
      with them on what they need to help improve their lives. The Institute has
      learnt a lot, and changed a lot in this time. But IRRI is committed to
      further dialogue and partnership with as many groups as possible and an
      even greater effort to improve.

      For example, by far the Institute's biggest project today is a
      multi-million dollar effort it is managing called "Poverty Elimination
      Through Rice Research Assistance" (PETRRA) in Bangladesh funded by
      Britain's Department for International Development (DFID). This massive
      effort to further reduce poverty in Bangladesh is completely farmer driven
      and participatory. The project began only after widespread farmer
      consultations where their needs were carefully identified. This then, is
      the modern face of rice research at IRRI.

      For those still looking back at the Green Revolution, we would urge them
      instead to look around a little more closely in the present day. They are
      right to point out that rice farming is changing and that many very serious
      problems and challenges remain, but as any farmer will tell you political
      rhetoric achieves little. What farmers really want is help back home on the
      farm - new options and technologies that will help improve the quality of
      their lives and give them choices where there were none before.

      Anyone is interested in discussing the points raised in this article are
      invited to contact the IRRI Information office at anytime via the following
      email address <irri@...>

      Information Office
      IRRI
      # # #
      For additional information, contact Duncan Macintosh, IRRI, DAPO Box
      7777,Metro Manila, Philippines; telephone (63-2) 845-0563 or (63-2)
      844-3351 to 53; fax: (63-2) 891-1292 or (63-2) 845-0606;
      email: d.macintosh@...
      Web (IRRI): <http://www.cgiar.org/irri>
      Web (Library): <http://ricelib.irri.cgiar.org/>
      Web (Riceweb): <http://www.riceweb.org/>
      Web (Riceworld): http://www.riceworld.org
    • Christine M. Merkel
      VEry important clarification. Thanks, Christine M. MErkel(Germany)
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 3, 2001
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        VEry important clarification. Thanks, Christine M. MErkel(Germany)

        Saleem Samad schrieb:

        > From: Saleem Samad <saleem@...>
        >
        > IRRI's IRRELEVANT BANGLADESH CONCERT EXAMPLE
        >
        > After reading the response of IRRI Information Office may have immense
        > argument on behalf of cereal production to feed the hungry millions, but
        > they cited the example of Bangladesh hunger issue, they seems to have made
        > the contention wrong.
        >
        > (1) The Concert for Bangladesh was organised in Madison Square Garden, New
        > York in 1971, not In 1970.
        >
        > (2) The concert was organised by Ustad Ravi Sankar, where of course George
        > Harrison, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mike Jagger and others performed to raise
        > funds to feed the hungry refugees who fled Bangladesh war of independence.
        > Ten million refugees, the world largest refugees poured into the camps in
        > adjoining states of India in fear of persecution, atrocities genocide,
        > ethnic cleansing unleashed by Pakistan troops.
        >
        > (3) Of course there was hunger, it was caused from the war and not from
        > famine or crop loss due to drought.
        >
        > (4) Despite significant increase of cereal production in Bangladesh,
        > low-intensity malnutrition among wide population of children and adolescent
        > persists caused from hunger.
        >
        > (5) Development economists argue that it is not increased food production
        > which may not encourage the nation to increase calorie intake of
        > disadvantaged people, but food security and poverty reduction would
        > definitely manage the situation.
        >
        > I hope this few points would clarify the situation arisen from the IRRI's
        > irrelevant case study.
        >
        > Saleem Samad
        > Coordinator
        > Like-Minded Environmental Activists Group Bangladesh (LMEAG)
        > email <lmeag_bangladesh@...>
        > ______________________________________________
        > At 07:11 PM 08/31/01 +0600, IRRI wrote:
        >
        > (The following statement by the Philippines-based International Rice
        > Research Institute (IRRI) is in response to the recent document on the use
        > of patents in the rice industry issued by a group of 10 Asian NGOs and other
        > concerned citizens.)
        >
        > There were a number of claims in the NGO document that misrepresented the
        > Institute's position on important issues in rice research and how they
        > impact on the lives of poor rice farmers and consumers. For the record,
        > IRRI's mission for the past 40 years has been "to improve the well-being of
        > present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly
        > those with low incomes."
        >
        > The recent NGO document states: "The so-called "Green Revolution",
        > spearheaded by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in
        > collaboration with national agricultural research systems, has been in fact
        > a chemical take-over of rice farming." This not only misrepresents the
        > achievements of the Green Revolution, but is also inaccurate as efforts to
        > reduce pesticide and fertilizer use in Asian rice production are now so
        > widespread and common as to be accepted as everyday activities.
        >
        > Those of us who are old enough to remember the early days of the Green
        > Revolution in the 1960s will recall quite clearly an Asia very different
        > from today; most Asian nations were sadly too familiar with starvation,
        > poverty and social uncertainty on scale simply unknown in many parts of the
        > region today. There were no environmental movements, no middle classes and
        > very little in the way of the quality of life now available for many rice
        >
        > farmers and consumers today.
        >
        > Back then, the simple aim of many families was to ensure that everyone
        > could just get enough to eat. To give one example, some may be able to
        > recall the Concert for Bangladesh in 1970 organized by the former Beatle,
        > George Harrison to try and help the thousands dying of hunger at the time in
        > Bangladesh. Thanks to increases in rice production, such famines are now a
        > thing of the past in Bangladesh
        >
        > To the enormous credit of those dedicated scientists who uprooted their
        > families and moved out to Asia to try and do what they could to prevent
        > further suffering, the Green Revolution did achieve its basic and most
        > important goal - it allowed many countries, such as Bangladesh, to produce
        > enough rice so everyone would have enough to eat.
        >
        > In much of Asia, plentiful cheap rice has been the propelling force behind
        > economic, political and social stability. Rice - produced as a result of
        > the Green Revolution - has kept the continent nourished, employed and
        > relatively peaceful. The true Asian miracle has not been stunning economic
        > growth, but keeping people fed in the face of relentless population growth.
        >
        > In the late 1970s, it was the stability assured by food security that
        > allowed the Asian region to start addressing a whole range of other issues
        > such as the environment, continuing poverty and social inequality.
        > Researchers realized that the initial high input agriculture of the Green
        > Revolution was unsustainable and so by the mid-1980s important new
        > strategies such Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biological controls
        > started to be developed.
        >
        > For more than a decade, scientists at IRRI have been firmly committed to
        > helping rice farmers reduce the inappropriate use of pesticides and
        > fertilizers. Their achievements, especially in the past few years, are a
        > matter of public record and beyond dispute. In countries such as Vietnam
        > and China, the Institute's researchers have had major successes not only in
        > getting farmers to reduce the use of pesticides but - at the same time -
        > also improve their incomes. On its own experimental farm, the Institute has
        > reduced pesticide use by more than 60 per cent.
        >
        > To label such activities a "chemical take-over of rice farming" is clearly a
        > misrepresentation. On many occasions, as a result of IRRI's research the
        > opposite effect has been observed with the Institute's work clearly reducing
        > the amount of pesticides being purchased by farmers. This shift to
        > sustainable production research is now deeply ingrained in the Institute's
        > agenda and scientific programs
        >
        > The NGO document also states: "Consequently, farmers lost their seeds,
        > their knowledge, their self-confidence and their unique cultural heritage."
        > While it is true that farmer decisions to grow modern varieties have led to a
        > reduction in biodiversity in farmers' fields, few varieties have been lost
        > forever. On the contrary, the world's rice varieties are all stored safely
        > and carefully in the International Rice Genebank at IRRI.
        > Samples are freely available to everyone, including farmers and NGOs, as
        > the Institute manages the genebank under the FAO and in trust for
        > humankind. For farmer testimony on how this genebank has been crucial in
        > protecting biodiversity those interested could travel to Cambodia where
        > farmers lost their traditional varieties during years of war but had them
        > restored by IRRI and the nation now exports rice. Or, to the Cagayan valley
        > in the Philippines where farmers lost varieties during a typhoon but had them
        > restored by IRRI . Or, to East Timor where rice farmers looking for their
        >
        > traditional varieties have also been able to access the IRRI genebank.
        >
        > But rice researchers have not stopped there. On-farm seed conservation has
        > for some time been recognized as an essential tool of sustainable rice
        > production and is a practice that IRRI actively encourages and seeks to
        > support.
        >
        > Finally, the NGO document turns its attention to the biotechnology debate.
        > Despite repeated public statements, IRRI is continually - and unfairly -
        > labeled as pro-biotech. The Institute instead is firmly committed to a
        > policy of objective evaluation. It does a great disservice to our many
        > important donors in the European Union to suggest otherwise. The Institute
        > seeks simply the freedom to conduct research that will provide the facts -
        > good and bad - on such things as Bt Rice that will allow each rice-producing
        > nation to make up its own mind about GMOs.
        >
        > IRRI is also committed to helping the world's rice producing nations build
        > their own biotechnology expertise so they can form their own expert opinions
        > about such research and not have to rely on scientists and organizations
        > from other countries.
        > To quote from a discussion paper published last year in the influential
        > American magazine SCIENCE that was co-authored by a number of IRRI
        > scientists including the Institute's director general, Ronald P. Cantrell,
        > "There is growing concern that the poor will not be adequately served by
        > the new science (of biotechnology). ... In addition to public access to
        > information on gene function in rice and public access for research on any
        > proprietary product derived from biological assets, we seek access for the
        > limited use of products in developing countries." In short, IRRI is also
        > concerned about the impact of patenting on rice research for the poor.
        >
        > For more than four decades, IRRI has been committed to listening closely to
        > the opinions and voices of poor rice farmers and consumers and then working
        > with them on what they need to help improve their lives. The Institute has
        > learnt a lot, and changed a lot in this time. But IRRI is committed to
        > further dialogue and partnership with as many groups as possible and an
        > even greater effort to improve.
        >
        > For example, by far the Institute's biggest project today is a
        > multi-million dollar effort it is managing called "Poverty Elimination
        > Through Rice Research Assistance" (PETRRA) in Bangladesh funded by
        > Britain's Department for International Development (DFID). This massive
        > effort to further reduce poverty in Bangladesh is completely farmer driven
        > and participatory. The project began only after widespread farmer
        > consultations where their needs were carefully identified. This then, is
        > the modern face of rice research at IRRI.
        >
        > For those still looking back at the Green Revolution, we would urge them
        > instead to look around a little more closely in the present day. They are
        > right to point out that rice farming is changing and that many very serious
        > problems and challenges remain, but as any farmer will tell you political
        > rhetoric achieves little. What farmers really want is help back home on the
        > farm - new options and technologies that will help improve the quality of
        > their lives and give them choices where there were none before.
        >
        > Anyone is interested in discussing the points raised in this article are
        > invited to contact the IRRI Information office at anytime via the following
        > email address <irri@...>
        >
        > Information Office
        > IRRI
        > # # #
        > For additional information, contact Duncan Macintosh, IRRI, DAPO Box
        > 7777,Metro Manila, Philippines; telephone (63-2) 845-0563 or (63-2)
        > 844-3351 to 53; fax: (63-2) 891-1292 or (63-2) 845-0606;
        > email: d.macintosh@...
        > Web (IRRI): <http://www.cgiar.org/irri>
        > Web (Library): <http://ricelib.irri.cgiar.org/>
        > Web (Riceweb): <http://www.riceweb.org/>
        > Web (Riceworld): http://www.riceworld.org
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > bytesforall_readers-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • alan.potkin
        Vientiane Yeah.. I was also surprised at how ignorant was the self-serving IRRI response as to the true causes of the 71 famine in BD, among which was
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 4, 2001
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Vientiane

          Yeah.. I was also surprised at how ignorant was the self-serving IRRI
          response as to the true causes of the '71 famine in BD, among which was
          certainly not inadequate riziculture science.

          AP
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.