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International webinar: April 21, 2021
Indonesian farmer 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
Agroecology & Community” organised by the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming (BAPA) under the auspices of the Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas).
Speaker: Zainal Arifin Fuad, Head of Development for Foreign Indonesian Peasant Union
Theme: Food Sovereignty, Agroecology, Seeds and UNDROP
 
 

The Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) continues its struggle to protect its farmers on many fronts

A BACK TO EARTH NEWS SUMMARY

The Indonesian Peasants Union (SPI) is a farmer’s movement formed more than two decades ago in North Sumatra to protect farmer’s right to speak, assemble and address issues common to their livelihoods.

Zainal Arifin Fuad or fondly Pak Zainal introduced the audience to Syarikat Petani Indonesia, a farmer’s rights organization that is now based in Jakarta. The body acted as an activist in the quest to protect farmers from repression and illegal land grabs.

The organization has since evolved into an all-Indonesia representative body with affiliation to the United Nations’ Declaration of Peasant Rights for Men and women issued in 2008.

SPI is involved in many activities including natural farming, distribution, study and research into agroecology and seed content, policy and dialogue, formation and training, peasant cooperatives and much more.

International webinar: April 19, 2021  GMO Cotton

‘Agroecology & Community” organised by the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming (BAPA) under the auspices of the Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas).
Speaker: Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Lim Li Ching, Senior Researchers with Third World Network
Event: Held as part of Seed Week in conjunction with International Seeds Day
Theme: The Incompatibility of GMO with Agroecology
 

Once seen as the answer to global food insecurity GMOs have been exposed in controversies across the globe, raising many questions

A Back to Earth News SUMMARY

The theme of the webinar brings into sharp focus the vast divide between technology-driven genetically modified (GM) crops and traditional farmer-based agroecological  (AE) practices.

Interestingly, the two speakers, Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Lim Li Ching raised much evidence on the incidence of GMOs and their impact on food systems, health and socio-economic issues.

Dr Eva, a geneticist spoke on several issues although the two standout examples were based on GMO experiences in India and Burkina Faso where we will add our research so that readers will better understand the depth and gravity of these cases.

Cotton in India: spending more on pesticides, lower yields and profits    

In her slide on the long-term impacts of GMO on cotton in India, Dr Eva said that farmers after planting insecticidal Bt cotton for 20 years had found that they were spending twice as much on pesticides than before and were facing lower yields and profits.

Earlier it was promoted as a form of technology through hybrid varieties to help farmers deal with the pest menace and as a result, reap better yields and increased profits.

Our investigations reveal that at the time Bt cotton was introduced the two major pests were caterpillar bollworms which were initially repelled but later grew resistant, worsening the situation. Bt cotton caused the proliferation of other insects forcing farmers to fork out more money for remedies.

The cotton farmers of northern India rank as the largest producers of cotton in the world. But the winds of change are already in motion as the Indian government is helping farmers switch to ‘desi’, an indigenous variety.

Q&A with the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming, Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas)

MARK THESE DATES!  April 19, 21 & 23  @ 9pm

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International webinar: March 26 2021
‘Agroecology & Community” organised by the Bureau of Agroecology & Natural Farming (BAPA) under the auspices of the Malaysian Agroecology Society for Sustainable Resource Intensification (SRI-Mas).
Speaker: Pierre Ferrand, Agriculture Officer, (FAO Regional Office for Asia & Pacific)

The Mekong Delta has for several years been a hotbed for ecological farming practices, mainly in rice cultivation involving shrimp and fish breeding as well. In many cases, small farmers have been successful with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Mekong DeltaThis situation which can be exemplified in other parts of Southeast Asia was brought to light in an international webinar on Agroecology and the Community themed: Building Back Greener & More Resilient: Contributions of Agroecology to a “New Normal” in Asia.

“AE principles offer valuable approaches that can help increase the resilience of food systems and represents a coping strategy to mitigate immediate disruptions caused by a pandemic such as COVID-19,” said Ferrand.

“Resilience of AE systems is achieved by increasing the diversity of the system,” he added. “Replacing external inputs with ecological processes, efficient use and recycling of the resources in the system.”

Ferrand also emphasized the importance of having strong farmer organisations and direct connections between producers and consumers concerning the sale and distribution of AE products.

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