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September 28, 2007

Terminator Technology

The seeds from the green revolution could be used in the next few seasons but the yield would progressively go down. So the farmers had to purchase new seeds every few seasons. The current technology being used is one wherein the seed from a crop cannot be reused again. The seeds are sterile. This is a terminator technology that is being employed to ensure that farmers keep coming back every season to buy seed. Here is an excerpt from Vandana’s writings:

“When we plant a seed there's a very simple prayer that every peasant in India says: "Let the seed be exhaustless, let it never get exhausted, let it bring forth seed next year." Farmers have such pride in saying "this is the tenth generation seeds that I'm planting," "this is the fifth generation seed that I'm planting." Just the other day I had a seed exchange fair in my valley and a farmer brought Basmati aromatic rice seed and he said "this is five generations we've been planting this in our family". So far human beings have treated it as their duty to save seed and ensure its continuity. But that prayer to let the seed be exhaustless seems to be changing into the prayer, "let this seed get terminated so that I can make profits every year" which is the prayer that Monsanto is speaking through the terminator technology -- a technology whose aim is merely to prevent seed from germinating so that they don't have to spend on policing.”

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