A new future for small farmers (Paul Enkelaar, Jan Paul Smit and Manuel Reichert)

A 2007 documentary on food security in India. Thousands of small scale farmers in India commit suicide, because they can no longer solve their debt problems. Two decades ago they took up ‘modern’ farming and with the help of government subsidies they started growing commercial crops. In the beginning harvests were good, but as time went on, the financial support of the government decreased more and more. The farmers were forced to obtain even bigger loans to pay for the expensive new seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides. Repeated failed harvests now force them into despair. Millions of poor farmers however have turned their backs on modern agriculture in order to bring new life to their traditional ways of farming. This video presents an alternative to The green revolution (Norman Borlaug) and Biotechnology (Gordon Conway).

It also presents a good reflection on the concept of ‘food sovereignty’, which is defined as “the RIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries to define their own agricultural, labour, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. It includes the true right to food and to produce food, which means that all people have the right to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food and to food-producing resources and the ability to sustain themselves and their societies.” See also the full interview with Periyapatna Satheesh.

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