For quite a while, I neglected climate issues. They remained in the background of my concerns. So I was only sympathetically curious about Vandana Shiva. The wave of criticism poured on her following the battles she led easily dissuaded me from examining further the positions she took.
I was wrong…
Only now have I read the report « Gates Ag One: The Recolonisation Of Agriculture » (February 2020) which she authored at Navdanya International.
I was dazzled by her argument against « Gates Ag One« (« The Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations LLC« ), the agricultural arm of the Gates Foundation.
It is very clear, well researched, well thought out and politically significant.
Political ecology is at the heart of the changes that need to be made in our ways of thinking and acting. For those who are still wondering, I urge you to read this important « manifesto« .
Here are some key ideas…
Making time as an enemy is making enemy of the society and planet.
Space -Time is life in its diversity and evolution.
First insects were made an enemy, and we have Insectagaddon.
Now time is being made an enemy, threatening to accelerate the race to extinction and ecological collapse.
By saying that “In agriculture, time is your biggest enemy”, they have negated the intelligence of nature evolved over billions of years and indigenous knowledge and intelligence of farmers evolved over thousands of years.
Ag One is based on epistemic racism and arrogance. It assumes farmers have no knowledge and nature has no intelligence.
It is turning a blind eye to the new movements such as “slow food”, “slow fashion”, “slow clothing” and “slow money” that are growing in response to the destructive economies of “fast food”, “fast fashion”, “fast clothing” and “fast money” (FinTech)
“We need to shape the future of Agriculture based on Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity.
Farmers have knowledge.
Plants and insects have intelligence.
Agroecology builds on the Diversity of knowledges and intelligences.
Our response to Ag One is epistemic decolonisation and reclaiming of our Seed Sovereignty, Food Sovereignty and Knowledge Sovereignty.
All of which takes time.”