Sunday, September 14, 2008

Green activists 'are keeping Africa poor'

An interesting read.

When it comes to food there's often a science-cynical attitude, e.g. GM, artificial fertilisers, preservatives etc. Sometimes this attitude is deserved, often I suspect it is not.

Indonesia's green revolution in the 70s was acclaimed for providing cheap food to the masses, nowadays it's often seen as a chemically fueled binge.

There's a balance to be struck, but many people can't afford to be overly conservative when it comes to adopting new food technologies - especially when it comes to filling empty stomachs.


M said...

Oh, for once i thought it was Sir David Attenborough and almost couldnt believe he sid that.

i agree with him in some points but not to others. it is a bit peculiar that green revolution doesnt work in Africa. But it's the same case with aquaculture. this one fishery technique- has been a successfull story in Asia but not in Africa. nonetheless, it has been long time introduced in Africa as well. But no one knows exactly why it didnt work.

mister wiki said that green revolution has been introduced there also but due to some constraints it doesnt work.

peculiar, but if one has been to some developing countries in two continents, i think one would have a better picture why. life is a lot harder in Africa than asia.

in the west also, there are two wings on this green revolution thingie. one wing is pro and the other wing is contra. sir David King is obviously in the pro wing, together with the US government, i am afraid. The US govt since long time has beeen trying (or have they been successfull) to donate GM food to Africa. while the contra said they have been poisoning the African people or donating them the food they are unsure of the safety.

some conspiracy theory said it is necessary for the west to keep the south poor because rich will not exist unless poor does.

this GM thingie is not a new debate. but u know the new reserach said that the use of pesticide and fertilizers in rice cultivation in indo china do not guarantee a bettrer yield because this means the chemicals killed also the natural wildlife that could have been usefull in controlling the pest. so after this long green revolution, seems like scientiest will be pro organic.

and my problem with this GMO thingie is the patent right issue. with monsanto, for example. i think it's kinda cruel.

oh such a long comment..btw, Ramadhan Kariim, John (in case u have converted to be a Moslem :p)

johnorford said...

Ramadhan karim to you too Mulia.

(Actually I'm a devout atheist ; ))

I don't think it's in the interest of wealthy countries to keep poorer countries poor, and I don't believe in those conspiracy theories ; )

As for gm and other food tech if it's there, let's investigate it, figure it out and see if we can solve its problems, rather than demonising it.