After the requirement of an effective irrigation system, the need of a good seed bank is the most mandatory for any farmer of the world. Sadly though ever since GM Crops have taken over the world’s agriculture system... a good seed bank is the story of the past... for which the local government and the farmers are equally to be blamed.
In the not so-olden days, every farmer used to create his own seed bank, saving from the crops produced every year... this way, the farmer used to save his money buying seeds from the market. The process was simple and not so complicated... mostly, it was the duty of the farmers’ wives to do the saving of the seeds to create seed bank... seeds are dried and stored in mud pots with Neem leaves and then it is covered by applying cow dung to seal the pots. The pots are then put at attic till next sowing season arrives... this simple process is long forgotten now in villages, except a few, who still do it. This was a perfect way for farmers to have the best seeds from their own produce and free of cost.
With the advent of GM Crops making its way to every household and shops in today’s modern times, the farmers have found an easy way to save themselves from all the hassles of creating their own seed bank. While they are shelling out unnecessary money, from their savings, to buy seeds each year... the farmers forget that they are thereby increasing their initial investment while filling the pockets of the seeds producing companies. Of course, with more GM crops making it presence in each country through their patent and rights through local governments, the policy has gone against the poor farmers, who have no choice but to buy seeds at higher rates each year. This adds up to their initial investment, a loss which they can avoid by creating their own seed bank.
The politicians - seeds producing companies - market nexus plays a more cruel game of shortage of seeds during the sowing season to raise the prices of the seeds... each year, the story is the same and the government quietly overlooks this mal-practice because the lobby pays them well... the poor farmers have no choice but to succumb to the market. GM Crops have snatched every little joy from farmers’ plates by promising them of higher yield but what they don’t tell or teach the farmers is that every GM seeds need heavy use of poisonous chemical fertilizers and pesticides to control the weeds and provide a higher yield. The heavy use of these chemicals are in turn hazardous for the crops and fertile land as it kills the fertility of the soil, requires more water and with more weeds, need more labour... all in all, a losing proposition for farmers as it increases the initial investment... and when the produce is ready, the market plays truant to buy farmers’ yield at lower rates... so but obvious, the initial investment doesn’t match the income generated...
Not that these facts are not known to the government planning commission but then farmers are the best income generating flesh and till the last drop is sucked from their bodies... the rich MNCs will not stop their greed and killing of the community, that is making the farmers the fastest depleting species worldwide! The future surely is very dangerous and before it is too late, the local government should start thinking about the age-old farming practices, which provided healthy produce and kept everyone safe from the mass genocide... do we really care or realize about the intake of poisonous food grains each one of us is consuming today???
I was a journalist-writer-poet-blogger based in Bombay. From 18th March 2010, I have devoted my life to support suicide farmers' families in Vidarbha to make them self-reliant and live a decent life.
As a journalist I have had the goodwill to contribute articles on various topics & subjects in more than 60 esteem National & International Publications.