Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system -Moin Qazi
The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.
Family-owned farms still produce some 80% of the world’s food. There is an inextricable link between farmers with small landholdings and our survival and the health of our planet. They play a highly critical role in protecting the environment. But they are among the most underserved population.
They often lack the technology, infrastructure, and market access needed to increase their productivity and incomes. This makes them extremely vulnerable to economic and climactic variability.
In India about half of them live in the vast stretches of the Deccan and East Indian plateau, practicing rainfed farming due to lack of irrigation. Farming is therefore typically limited to monocropping, and is done only in the monsoon months.
Small farmers often lack basic tools and new technologies and don't have networks to access them, the financial services to afford them, or the markets to profit from investments in them.
They are also plagued by low productivity as they do not have access to quality farm inputs such as good seeds and fertilisers, training and capital and technology and knowledge that can make their enterprises commercially viable.
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Counterview.net, 11 July, 2020, https://www.counterview.net/2020/07/cruel-legacy-of-green-revolution-covid.html