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The Forum > General Discussion > Food security

Food security

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B ack in the early 1990s, many of Seedlingís pages were devoted to discussions about international treaties and public research agendas. Corporations were part of the discussion, but mainly as a looming threat, one group of actors pushing forward the industrial model of agriculture that was destroying agricultural biodiversity. Fast-forward twenty years, and the landscape has changed. Corporate power in the food system has grown by leaps and bounds. Today corporations set the global rules, with governments and public research centres following their lead. The fall-out of this transformation for the planetís biodiversity, and the people who look after it, has been devastating. Corporations have used their power to expand monoculture crop production, undermine farmersí seed systems and cut into local markets. They are making it much more difficult for small farmers to stay on the land and feed their families and communities. This is why social movements are increasingly pointing to food and agribusiness corporations as the problem in the global food system and the focus of their resistance.
Posted by Riely, Sunday, 24 May 2020 7:58:37 AM
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Dear Riely,

Is it possible for small farmers to band together,
elect their representatives and form their own
grassroots organisations to by-pass the corporations
and deal directly with the markets?

Part of the problem seems to be that the world is
getting smaller due to technology and farmers are
producing the same crops all over the world.
Unless we want to sell for less - we have to find
crops that can compete in the markets.

Prime example - Chinese tariffs on Barley. Don't
grow barley - find alternative crops that trading
countries need.
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 24 May 2020 5:34:54 PM
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If you can't sell the product why keep growing it?
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 24 May 2020 5:35:54 PM
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Seeds. Over the past two decades the seed industry has been dramatically transformed, from an industry of small seed companies and public programmes to an industry dominated by a handful of transnational corporations (TNCs). Today just ten corporations control half of the global market for commercial seeds. Most are pesticide producers focusing on the development of genetically modified (GM) crops that support a chemically intensive agriculture. The high level of corporate control in seeds, however, is confined to those crops where these companies have been able to bring GM varieties to market (soya, oilseed rape, and maize) and to those countries with relatively large commercial seed markets, particularly where the commercialization of GM varieties has been allowed. In the US, for instance, just one company, Monsanto, controls over 90% of the seed market for soya. Corporate efforts to expand markets are thus focusing on opening more markets to GM crops and on capturing seed markets for crops in which they are still only minor players. With the latter, they are primarily doing two things. One is to buy up all or part of smaller seed companies, as Monsanto did by taking over the vegetable seed company Seminis, or as Limagrain is doing by buying into wheat seed companies in the Americas and rice seed companies in Asia. The second is by developing hybrid and/or GM varieties of crops such as rice, wheat and sugar cane, which have traditionally resisted private sector involvement because of the general practice among farmers of saving seeds. With the rise of transnational seed corporations, the public plant breeding systems, which were so significant 20 years ago, have been reduced to contractors for the private sector.
Posted by Riely, Monday, 25 May 2020 6:51:40 AM
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Dear Riely,

You are painting a very negative picture.
Instead of just focusing on the problems
involved - what solutions do you suggest?
Otherwise - your discussion will not get much
reaction.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 25 May 2020 11:08:21 AM
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AU farmers are under ever increasing regulation, 2018 was the latest and biggest shift in animal husbandry ever, what we import is cheaper than what can be raised here.
Farm zoning land is under unprecedented restrictions and regulations and many of us are not sure of the impartiality of the persons in power that create these laws.
It seems itís ok to import rather than or produce animal proteins. The large supermarkets are the driving force. We cannot process on farm and sell locally.
Shires are under stress and are hiring persons that have little or no practical knowledge about farming.
Even though China does not want our beef the price of beef is rising, how does that happen.
American farmers can farm process and sell to anyone locally but no such thing here even though America enforces the export laws of protein hygiene, but it does not apply to its own farmers who sell locally.
There is good reason why China is buying our barley and beef and iron ore. AU growers produce the worlds no one in grain production, our beef is best because we sell prime beef as mince. Iron ore has the highest level of iron / ton of ore in the world.
We are the most restricted farmers in the world you can farm kill but you can not sell or give any away. We are governed out of business.
Posted by Riely, Monday, 25 May 2020 4:10:32 PM
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