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11737Sub: Does the selection of persons for WFP fit in to the objective specified by WFP???

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  • jeevananda reddy
    Jun 21, 2014
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      The following is the letter sent to World Food Prize

      Sub:    Does the selection of persons for WFP fit in to the objective specified by WFP???
      Ref:     World Food Prize – 2014
       
      Dear Sir,
       
      Now-a-days it became a routine to give awards and rewards to people that serve the vested interests.  It appears that this is no way different with Noble Prize or World Food Prize!!!, etc.
       
      World Food Prize – it says that “World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contribution to improving the “quality”, quantity or availability of food throughout the world”.
       
      Unfortunately the awards received by Indian Scientists, namely Dr. M. S. Swaminathan and the present recipient “Sanaya Ranjan” – who opted Mexican citizen – do not fit into that definition. Green Revolution technology does not fit under “quality” food. It is a “polluted” food.
       
      Let me present few points from my book – “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture in the perspective of Climate Change (2011 – www.scribd.com):
       
      Prior to 1960, farmers used indigenous technologies evolved over hundreds and thousands of years experience and passed it on to generation after generation. These technologies were weather & soil driven farming systems that include crops & cropping patterns – intercropping & mixed cropping, agricultural practices --, crop rotation, land & water management practices, traditional seed, farmyard manure, and drought animal based implements, etc. This technology was highly successful and sustainable as they included animal husbandry in to agriculture system. This is a “no suicide” technology. These are said to be “Golden Days” in the history of farming. No pollution, no worry about seed adulteration, fertilizer adulteration as they used good grain as seed and compost of farmyard manure as well green manure as fertilizer. It gave healthy food & nutritious diet to people as well the fodder to animal. Timely crop management was the mantra for the success in this system of agriculture.
       
      Prior to 1960s though the production was enough to meet the food needs of the people, there was insufficient infrastructure facilities to store and to transport the food grains within the region, states and within the country from excess production zones to deficit production zones. Under PL-480, Mexican wheat entered India and along with it came Pathenium weed and now occupied all most all open areas with no solution to eradicate it – former DG of ICAR, who is now working with Western MNC, proposed terminator technology, which was banned by UN, to eradicate this weed. It is like scratching the head with fire.  
       
      After around 1960, the Indian agriculture has grown leaps and bounds though in quantity but failed to achieve the quality of traditional food for humans and as well to animal through fodder. The technology refers to high yielding seeds clubbed with chemical inputs [fertilizers & pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, etc] & irrigation. The use of chemical inputs reduced the quality in food and created bad impact on environment, which lead to modern environmental movement world over.  – to protect the vested groups interests this was replaced by global warming & carbon credits with billions of US $ investments by UN -- That is, this technology was found to be more dangerous on long-term, over the short term gains; that destroyed the environment drastically like degradation of & salinization of soil, health hazards to human, animal & plant life along with water, air, soil & food pollution.  They in turn increased the drug manufacturing industries – through which pollution --, through which hospitals – through which pollution --, through which more health hazards, turning in to a vicious circle. When this technology was introduced nobody knew that this technology is going to create such environmental catastrophe.   All these factors were not accounted under food production costs. Even with all these ill effects, the yield growth curve has flattened after 1984-85 as there was no improvement in seed technology for increasing the yield or brings the farm yields to the research station yield levels.
       
      The mono crop culture green revolution technology with new high yielding varieties grown under chemical inputs reduced the animal husbandry hither to play a prominent role at household food security as the fodder is not a good diet. While calculating the food production gains we rarely account this loss. In Andhra Pradesh – rice bowl of India --, traditional paddy under irrigation yielded 1300 kg/ha and with the high yielding seed this increased by 500 kg/ha. By adding chemical inputs the yield level rose by 2000 kg/ha. That is total yield under farmers fields is 3800 kg/ha. The research station yield is 5000 to 6000 kg/ha.  The present average farmers field yield is 2600-2800 kg/ha. Till to date scientists haven’t tried to fix this gap.  The main beneficiaries here are the chemical inputs manufacturers with huge government subsidies; illegal exporters. To monopolize seed industry under patent laws, MNCs introduced GM in to this system. This lead increased cost of production. This created boom in the sale of adulterated seed-fertilizers and thus it lead farmers’ suicides. Now vested groups even planned to monopolize paddy & maize seed business under the disguise of hybridization.
       
      The success of green revolution was possible with irrigation, as the diffusion of technology was possible only through irrigation. The irrigation potential was created with huge government subsidy.
       
      Funds crunch, lack of adequate assistance from government officials and private sector firms, and lack of awareness among people are the main deterrents in identifying rural innovations as a national movement. Besides being cost-effective and eco-friendly, these potential discoveries need to be commercialized and even exported.  The fact is farmers innovations are out yielding green revolution yield potential as well Golden rice characters.  Now, globally these innovative technologies are required to protect the environment and improve the economy of farm house holds and at the same time get nutritious & healthy diet.
       
      FAO reported that 30% of the food produced is going as waste – my estimate for India, it is 40-50% -- and thus the inputs & natural resources are wasted to that extent. Governments are spending billions of US$ on subsidies & for creating irrigation potential, etc. People around the world spending billions of US$ on health care – see “Sick Planet: Corporate food and medicine” by Stan Cox (2008). Around the world billions of US$ are spent for establishing drug manufacturing industries, hospitals, doctors, equipments, etc.
       
      We spent thousands of billions of US$ to destroy environment but we rarely invest few billion US$ to protect the environment. The awards and rewards should go to such innovations that protect the environment on long-term.
       
      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy