September 2010
Seed savers - The frontline against world hunger


Millions of years of growing natural diversity are in real danger of extinction. There's a bid by industrial agriculture to take complete control over seeds - and thereby of all the food we eat. As for genetic modification - promoted as the only way to feed the world, its one real benefit is that it conveys corporate ownership. Monopoly and monoculture are the result, together with increased dependence on fossil fuels and reduced adaptability to climate change.

So this month the New Internationalist reports from Latin America, Africa and Asia on what peasant farmers are already doing to avert catastrophe. They feed most of the world as it is. For every hectare of scarce fertile land they produce more healthy and sustainable food crops than industrial monoculture. Their seed banks offer greater adaptability to rapid climate change than any amount of genetic modification. Markets don't need to be liberated into the hands of corporate monopolies; peasant farmers need to be liberated from poverty and exploitation.








2 Letters
Time to investigate the Bolivarian alternative, and a Canadian comes clean.

3 Letter from Cairo
Maria Golia witnesses an unlikely form of protest in the heat-addled capital.

4 Seed savers
The world's seed markets are being gobbled up by 'life-science' corporations - but peasant farmers still feed the world. David Ransom reports.

8 Crops of truth
You have to travel with Jaideep Hardikar to meet the women at the bottom of the social scale in rural south India to find knowledge and wisdom.

10 Seeds - the facts

12 The seeds of sovereignty
Francisca Rodriguez talks with Camila Montecinos about the women who work with Via Campesina, the world's largest and most active organization of peasant farmers.

14 Surviving climate change
What was once almost a sacred duty provides a vital clue to the future, reports Isaiah Esipisu from Kenya.

16 A very short natural history of seeds

18 Merchants of death!
The troubling story of a corporate bid to take control of the world's food supply, told by Sue Branford.

20 Action
Contacts, links, books...

21 A world wide web of change
Digital activism has come a long way, but its principles still reflect its analogue ancestry, argues Adam Ma'anit.

25 Currents
A Canadian filmmaker wins damages from the government; Burmese military complicity
in opium growing exposed; and climate wars in Kenya's nomadic communities.

27 Only Planet
Getting humans' attention is a ball, discovers Gort in Marc Roberts' cartoon.

28 Big Bad World
A matter of concern in Polyp's cartoon.
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword.

29 Worldbeaters
Big coal equals big profits, so Don Blankenship doesn't worry too much about pollution.

30 Mixed Media
Super Furry Animals (and a penguin) on a Patagonian quest in new film Separado, and a
musical trio collaborates on the Road to Damascus.

32 Southern Exposure
Andres Lofiego's photograph is symbolic of a threatened way of life in Argentina.

33 Making Waves
PV Rajagopal seeks a return to Ghandian values and wonders what happened to his country.

34 Essay: Working together
A common vision has joined two major players in the labour and co-op movements. Erbin Crowell considers the implications.

36 Country profile: Bangladesh





NI Japan




From this month's theme

- Seed savers (NI p4-7)

- Seeds - the facts (NI p10-11)

- Crops of truth (NI p8-9)
- Surviving climate change (NI p14-15)
- Merchants of death! (NI p18-19)

From Special Features and other articles
- A world wide web of change (NI p21-24)
- Historical Yasuni deal signed (NI p25)
- Poisoned hills (NI p26)
- Making Waves: India's mass mobilizer (NI p33)

This month's Japanese organizations at a glance
tanenomori (Forest of Seeds)


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