Thursday, December 14, 2006

Impact of U.S. Corporations On Agriculture In The Developing World

Here is an interesting report from Democracy Now describing the impact of U.S. Corporations on the Agriculture industry in India.

Amy Goodman speaks with writer and ecologist Vandana Shiva.

India's Farmers are fighting for their livelihoods....battling companies such as St. Louis based Monsanto. Monsanto, with the help of the U.S. and Indian governments, is engaging in vicious business practices (such as requiring farmers to use seed that is not renewable....forcing them to buy seed each year at a higher cost). Monsanto is also attempting to establish an economic and political monopoly in Indias Agricultural market, making it difficult for traditional Indian family farmers to compete. Several farmers are committing suicide because of these practices that force them out of the market. (This is a report you won't see on FOX or CNN).

India's culture will also be challenged by the increased presence of Wal-Mart.

Watch/Listen to program

1 comment:

Green Dreams said...

This is just the tip of the iceberg created by the corporate control of politics and media. While we heap praise on the idea of free markets, our protectionist measures with respect to agriculture have crippled the economies of countries all over the world.

The poster child example for me is the cotton industry. The US cotton industry is worth about $5.9 billion, but is subsidized to the tune of $4.5 billion. This is not a business. This is a handout. Its corporate welfare pure and simple. The recipient of most of that US government largess? The state of Texas. Another example is sugar, for which Americans pay twice the world market price, in order to prop up the American sugar and corn products industries. These protectionist policies have devastated the economies of Cuba, Haiti, the Philippines, numerous African, Central American and South American countries.

I've been active in international development for over 30 years. When we ask a country what they can produce, often most of what they do produce is automatically off-limits for development assistance: sugar, cotton, citrus, rice, wheat, corn and a dozen other crops that could provide income and food security for poverty-stricken farmers.

The role of the media? Somehow, Americans are convinced by the media that we truly believe and practice free-market economics.