Grow native and reduce food miles
Globalization, started travelling across the world in 80s, has
gradually come to an end, tiring and hotch-potch blowing, as expected by
many. After only less than three decades, comparatively a short spell of
time, this 'fits all' myth mounted unprecedented socio-political issues
in the countries of Asian, African and Latin American, pioneered to
Sri Lanka, the first nation state to import it from the West to the
Asian region, faced the same having changed its closed macro-economic
policy practised since the declaration of so called independence. UNP,
during their massive publicity for the general election in late 70s,
campaigned to dump the earlier state craft, powered by the then SLFP
government after founding Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in
It was the open economy, tutored by the West, to remove all
barricades for a free market system from which price is determined in a
competitive atmosphere. Once this system was introduced people got used
to follow an 'easy going lifestyle' demanding everything on cash.
This, obviously, blind and bold decision created a lot of internal
issues paralyzing national economy, was in full flowering at that time.
After the industrial revolution erupted in 15th century, world became
more receptive towards liberalism and traditional agriculture was
transformed into a commercial business, so as to make profit centred and
cash based income. In this era, all sectors were regarded as cash crops
whereas land was exploited in unprecedented manner to maximize profits.
Along with the Green Revolution Movement began in the mid of 20th
century, chemically manufactured fertilizer played a vital role to
increase the productivity of the land while modern tactics used against
nature, caused soil degradation, crept in devastating the human approach
of the age old agronomic methods.
Cultivated new seeds crumbled the eco-circle in duality being modern
farming, an agro-industry backed by chemical manufacturers, which
handles and controls 'soil - cultivation - crop' interconnection.
Meanwhile, after '80s, in a sphere of profit making, liberal economic
school invented a new philosophy to rationalize the market approach over
agriculture sector as land cultivation activities should be cut down and
government should lend its hand only to the potential business entities
for 'fast cash’.
Thus, new momentum in the society encouraged trading instead of
investment, resulted in short term benefits. Agriculture was one of the
major areas ill treated and neglected.
Easy - going
This vision ruined our traditional values. People who earned daily
food in tiring efforts started begging and remained as dependents.
Farming had been nationally criticized by the political leaders and
branded as somebody's profession. Fast foods, instant drinks, take away
meals became daily shouts where as all happened to be customers and
consumers under the backdrop of ‘end user'. It is very clear that the
gateway of this market line remained in off shore. In this critical
social context our 'nation state' was transformed into a 'client state'
through a series of structural adjustment programmes - SAP, recommended
by Western financial institutions.
Traditional food culture practised from ancient times was threatened
during this period, as a coincidental fact. Healthy lives maintained
through nutritious meals on daily basis prepared by the folks having
indigenous traditions went outdated, bringing in instant food culture as
a lifestyle choice. It damaged the physical fitness of the people
weakening the immune system and mounted new social issues before long to
support scholars with statistical data to prove their anticipations.
Hybrid vegetables and fruits, junk foods became more familiar in
these 'easy - going' days widening the health sector to look after new
'life style disease' victims of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetic
and so on. In return agro-chemical producers took steps to supply
medicinal drugs under the same brand names creating a vicious circle
Seemingly, subversion of economies towards neo-liberalism in the
anti-West alliance has not been in line with a development process. It
is a 'bad to worst' situation, which shows how global exploitation makes
its entry to a vulnerable place, adding insult to the injury.
Thereby native production systems appeared to have reached the state
of a natural death. All in all, at the end of the day 'client state of
Sri Lanka' came to know the reality, having claimed an 'unbalance sheet'
with a 'loss and loss account' relating to the domestic production. It
was the story of many countries guided by the West, to set up modern
The big picture of globalization depicts a life threatening
atmosphere in the world. Global warming caused over negative impacts on
nature has critically damaged the ecological circle, according to the
As a result agriculture industry began to face a host of new
problems. Transportation of foods from different parts of the world to
those in need is likely to get complicated as taxes on carbon emission
are put into place, a new age issue. This has made the living space more
Climate change is also taken into account in modern commercial
For example, Cranfield University in 2007, reported red rose
cultivation peaking up during Valentine's Days with artificial
irrigation and heated greenhouses claimed more carbon emissions. In this
context a question is emerging whether to consider red rose as a symbol
of passion of love, beauty at large.
Global warming has been the sign of danger and the focal point during
this era, alarmed an emergency situation which does not show any single
door to exit for us all. Thus, the victims, who are responsible as well
to be victimized, now should engineer a new world order, as a last
resort to make the globe a comfort zone, despite disconcerts remained in
the regions in view of mitigating negative influences of the Industrial
Revolution to the natural environment.
Only after the fatal attack made by Al-qaeda on the World Trade
Centre in 2001, world was compelled to awake from its long sleep. The
Twin Towers, symbolizing capitalism and socialism, fell to the ground,
creating a new vista in the international political landscape. It was
the era of post-globalization, where people were in search of a third
way economic approach to redress the errors made during the trials
towards total development.
Most modern farming
To date the end result of the open economy has been highly debatable.
John Ralston Saul states, 'Grand economic theories rarely last more than
a few decades. Globalization had a 30 year's run, dominating many
aspects of Western life for the past quarter-century and holding sway
over the entire world for more than a decade.
But the results have not been happy for most people, especially
compared to the record of globalization’s immediate predecessor, the
various forms of social democracy that blossomed among 1945 and the
global economic woes of the mid-1970s.
This earlier system, despite its bureaucratic clumsiness, brought
rising standards of living to some people around the world and a measure
of hope for the others. Globalization, has failed spectacularly in its
promise of spreading wealth and reducing poverty. In fact, just the
opposite has happened under the hand of the IMF, free trade deals and
the World Bank.'
Sweeping obituary for the era of globalization is unavoidable, while
agreeing the influence of nationalism has been underestimated by
free-market partisans. The problems are already clear in many countries.
This historic mistake and recent economic fall out, offered more
evidence that globalization was on the way out. Now we are entering one
potent moment of history to revive the nation states.
On the more humane side, the rise of 'enlightened nationalism', seen
in Asia, Africa and Latin America, paved the way for a different kind of
new world order supporting the Kyoto accords on global warming.
Uganda is a country doing what is can to fight back to bring an
alternative future. They are also trying to tap into age old knowledge
for guidance of how farmers have coped with hard times in the past
having the best bank of information, stored over generations. One key to
making agricultural adaptation to climate change work may be reduction
of 'food miles' in food production.
It is a recent concern of agricultural economists in the industrial
agriculture that raises global food price. Most modern farming deals
with minimum travel time and length to cut down the cost of tax on
carbon emissions. Further they recommend all to grow native and reduce
food miles in view of avoiding periodic food shortages in the global
Written by RFF's (Resources for the Future) Pierre Crosson, the
paper, 'Impacts of climate change on agriculture' suggests, 'The
potential impacts of climate change on agriculture at both the global
and national level, are important to the United States because our
agriculture system is so inextricably entwined with global agriculture.
‘We cannot understand what might happen in the US without taking
account of impacts elsewhere in the world.'
Surprise to note that the so called experts attached to our local
chemical and industrial agriculture, watch at '100 mile radius food
system' with closed eyes, which has been quite strong over the last
decade in Western countries. 'To deal with climate change adaptation you
need broad-based sustainable economic growth. That’s the best way. More
income for farmers and poor people means they’re better able to adapt to
the challenges they face.'
That was the view of Sam Bickersteth, a climate change and
agriculture adviser to the UK Department for International Development (DFID).