Biodiversity meet ignored interests of farmers: expert

STAFF REPORTER, THE HINDU, NOVEMBER 19, 2012

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/-meet-ignored-interests-of-farmers-expert/article4109993.ece

Agriculture scientist G.V. Ramanjaneyulu has criticised that the recent international biodiversity conference in Hyderabad focussed only on how business could be done with bio-resources instead of suggesting measures to protect biodiversity.

The deliberations completely ignored farmers and their interests and also their role in the protection of biodiversity. The conference deliberately sidelined the need to protect biodiversity, he said while delivering a lecture on ‘Farmer in Biodiversity’ organised by the Jampala Chandrasekhara Prasad Trust in memory of the late student leader, here on Saturday night.

State role

He said the government should have a major role in protecting biodiversity, environment and eco-balance for which it should involve the farming community. On the contrary, it was encouraging farmers to use dangerous pesticides and chemical fertilizers, he added.

In pesticides only one per cent was useful to kill pests and the rest would mix in soil and air polluting the environs. So also, in fertilizers only 45 per cent was useful to protect plants and the remaining 55 per cent would mix in soil and water. Dr. Ramanjaneyulu said pests were gaining resistance and the farmer was getting caught in a vicious circle by investing more money. Excessive use of fertilizer and pesticide make the food grains poisonous with their residues remaining in them. Pesticide residues were creating fat in human bodies, he said.

GM propaganda

In this backdrop, governments and corporates were resorting to propaganda on the necessity of GM crops for food security, but behind this lay business interests rather than human interests, he said cautioning that, “Our food habits are getting spoilt with such a false campaign.”

Listing out the ill-effects of fertilizers and pesticides, he said the Green Revolution in Punjab destroyed biodiversity and today one in every third family in that State was suffering from cancer. He said for the protection of biodiversity farmers should have freedom in cultivation.

‘Meet focussed on how business can be done with bio-resources instead of suggesting measures to protect biodiversity’

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