GM farmers want to go organic
2.SA farmers in India to learn about organic farming
EXTRACTS The farmers, who have been using Genetically Modified (GM) seeds to boost agriculture production, are here to learn about organic farming and sustainable agriculture.
Mpompshare, said they wanted to go back to food crops like corn and sweet potatoes and were here to explore the possibility of taking up organic farming, shedding GMOs, chemical fertilisers and unwanted insecticides.
1.SA farmers learn from state counterparts
The Times of India, 21 January 2009
Bangalore: India is not just an example to the world with its industrial and technological development -- the vast country is more than that. India, with its success story in organic farming, is also a lesson for other countries.
Farmers from South Africa (SA) who visited Bangalore on Tuesday were surprised to discover that Karnataka farmers have been cultivating crops in dry land without using chemicals or fertilizers.
The farmers from Makhathini, SA, a region famous for its success in growing genetically modified (GM) crops, said they have lost most of their traditional crop varieties. Agriculture is mainly under corporate control there.
"After the apartheid broke out, companies like Monsanto and other giants took over the agricultural sector. Eighty per cent food is produced by the companies while farmers contribute 20%, that too GM maize and cotton," said Mariam Mayat, director of African Centre for Bio-Safety.
"Seeds and fertilizers are subsidized and companies have flooded the farmers' mindset with propaganda on GM crops. None of them know how to practise traditional farming."
More than 35 organic farmers from Nanjangud taluk, T Narsipura, Bellary and Kolar, among others, interacted with the visiting farmers.
2. Farmers in India to learn about organic farming
The Times of India, 22 Jan 2009
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 22-member team of farmers from South Africa, on a two-day visit here as part of their tour of India, today interacted with farmers and activists on the practice of organic farming in the state.
The farmers, who have been using Genetically Modified (GM) seeds to boost agriculture production, are here to learn about organic farming and sustainable agriculture.
The interaction was organised by the Kerala State Bio-Diversity Board and 'Thanal,' an NGO working in the area.
Mariam Ayot, founder of African Centre for Bio-Safety, who is here with the team, said all African countries, except South Africa and Burkina Faso, had either banned or imposed a moratorium on use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
She said GM planting, which was started in 1986, had grown exponentially in South Africa in the last three years, covering an area of 1.1 million hectares at present. "Once you start growing GM, it opens a floodgate. Cotton farming has now displaced food crops," Ayot said.
Sinda Manakuza, a farmer who is part of the team, said commercialised farming was profitable initially as the government used to give liberal subsidies. With a cut in subsidy, they were facing a difficult situation, she said.
Another farmer, Mpompshare, said they wanted to go back to food crops like corn and sweet potatoes and were here to explore the possibility of taking up organic farming, shedding GMOs, chemical fertilisers and unwanted insecticides.
The Southern leg of the farmers' tour has been arranged by Deccan Development Society, which has 25 years' experience in sustainable farming, 'hanal' activist Sreedhar said.