Corporations, Not Farmers, Are the Real Criminals


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OCA ally and Regeneration International co-founder, Vandana Shiva writes:

“Reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, make the chemical industry pay for pollution instead of criminalizing farmers who were trapped by in the chemical treadmill through industrial agriculture. The nitrogen problem in Agriculture is a problem created by synthetic nitrogen fertilizers made from fossil fuels. Nitrogen fertilizers contribute to atmospheric pollution and climate change in the manufacture and the use of fertilizers.

The manufacture of synthetic fertilizer is highly energy intensive. One kg of nitrogen fertilizer requires the energy equivalent of 2 liters of diesel. Energy used during fertilizer manufacture was equivalent to 191 billion liters of diesel in 2000 and is projected to rise to 277 billion in 2030. This is a major contributor to climate change, yet largely ignored. One kilogram of phosphate fertilizer requires half a liter of diesel.

Nitrogen fertilizers also emit a greenhouse gas, N2O, which is 300 times more destabilizing for the Climate System than CO2. The unscientific, unjust, and undemocratic response to the chemical industry created nitrogen problem is to reduce farmers instead of reducing dependence on chemical fertilizers as is happening in the Netherlands. To reduce chemical fertilizer use, governments need to make the fertilizer industry pay for nitrogen pollution, and redirect subsidies from industrial agriculture to ecological farming. Criminalizing farmers for the crimes of the chemical industry is unfair and unjust. We need more farmers, not less, to regenerate the earth through an economy of care and belonging, and to produce real food which regenerates the health of the planet and our health.

There is a dystopian vision of a future of “Farming with farmers”, a digital agriculture with larger farms, more fertilizer use, more biodiversity loss.

While creating “Farming without Farmers” billionaires like Bill Gates are promoting more synthetic fertilizer use, aggravating the nitrogen problem.

Gates is promoting nitrogen fertilizers and chemical intensive GMO soya as raw material for lab made fake food which is being labelled as ‘plant based.’”

Learn more: The Nitrogen Problem in Agriculture