Gary Rodriguez writes in El Deber:
Monoculture or ‘mono-speech’?
Some people dare to make negative judgments against the agricultural sector and are given the luxury of say – with an angelic halo – about things that never were and who do not understand. Not risking their fortune, not sweating a single drop, not planting anything, are opposed to large-scale food production, but they eat it!
“Earth Foundation alerts over monoculture risk”, said the note (EL DEBER, 09/19/13), which has accused the Government wanting to expand the agricultural frontier to 13 million hectares by 2025, and that ‘institutions’ warn that this would encourage the “monoculture of GM [transgenic] products in the East” soy or cotton, when the vocation of the country is rather forest. Warning was given in the II Andean-Amazon Forum of Rural Development, organized in La Paz by that foundation, Ipdrs and Cipca.
It is not the first time that I address the issue, but today I do indignant, because it would seem that, for some, poverty is a business. Do we lack territory? The 13 million hectares, including pastures, are less than 50% of the agricultural potential in Bolivia. They allude that there are “other forms of more sustainable production”; why do they say this and don’t do? Forest and agriculture can coexist according to their function. And produce food would mean a permanent plant cover and generate more wealth than the trees. To achieve 45 million tons of food until 2025 would help eliminate extreme poverty, mainly in rural areas; it would feed the 14 million that we will be by then; It would create more than one million jobs and 20 million tons of surplus to feed the world.
They criticize the ‘agribusiness’, but enjoy at their tables, of vegetable oil, eat meat and sweeten with sugar without having never grown anything. Of course, while they earn well, who cares about those more than two million Bolivians who go hungry to sleep. or that Bolivia grows less by not exporting food! It would be good that those who say that ‘agribusiness’ is predatory, be aware that, given its high investment in the long-term, it aims to be not only economically viable but also environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. It is difficult to understand this, for a comfortable bureaucrat in his office!
For this reason the title of this column: as ‘mono’ means ‘unique’ and being under direct sowing, soybeans isn’t a monoculture, since it rotates with corn, wheat, sunflower, sorghum, chia, etc., rather there is this ‘mono discourse’ -anchored in the past- which is already tiresome…