Sunday, 19 April 2009
The Reaping of a Bitter Harvest
This is a good snapshot of what industrial agriculture wreaks across the planet.
Punjabi farmers were persuaded, by Americans, no doubt backed by Big Agri and with visions of cheaply imported wheat in their eyes, to grow intensive crops of wheat,rice and cotton in place of their customary mix.
The farmers grew rich for the first few decades - and now are scrambling to harvest a decent crop, at three times the price they started with.
The soil has been depleted, the water table to enable these rapacious cereals to grow is dropping by two feet every year, and the farmers are facing poverty. Never mind about the devastated land.
Salt has seeped up with the more deeply retrieved water. The same thing is happening in Australia.
One day, we might wake up and realise that, as much as we'd like to feed the world, we can't really do it without a planet.