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Our Hunger Games

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Hunger and malnutrition are man-made. They are hardwired in the design of the industrial, chemical model of agriculture. But just as hunger is created by design, healthy and nutritious food for all can also be designed, through food democracy.

We are repeatedly told that we will starve without chemical fertilizers. However, chemical fertilizers, which are essentially poison, undermine food security by destroying the fertility of soil by killing the biodiversity of soil organisms, friendly insects that control pests and pollinators like bees and butterflies necessary for plant reproduction and food production.

Industrial production has led to a severe ecological and social crisis. To ensure the supply of healthy food, we must move towards agro-ecological and sustainable systems of food production that work with nature and not against her. That is what movements that promote biodiversity conservation, like our NGO Navdanya, are designing on the ground.

Industrialization of agriculture creates hunger and malnutrition, and yet further industrialization of food systems are offered as solution to the crisis. In the Indian context, agriculture, food and nutrition are seen independent of each other, even though what food is grown and how it is grown determines its nutritional value. It also determines distribution patterns and entitlements. If we grow millets and pulses, we will have more nutrition per capita. If we grow food by using chemicals, we are growing monocultures - this means that we will have less nutrition per acre, per capita. If we grow food ecologically, with internal inputs, more food will stay with the farming household and there will be less malnutrition among rural children.


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