A real who’s-who in local organic farming gathered to applaud and shout “we love you!” to Dr Vandana Shiva, food security champion of the highest calibre, who received an honorary degree from Uvic last week and spoke of her passion: traditional farming practices.
Dr Shiva trained as a physicist and has a doctorate in Philosophy. She believes in the wisdom of traditional farming practices which are naturally organic, which protect seed diversity and offer a fair and healthy livelihood. She was instrumental in the creation of Navdanya, which protects the diversity of living resources and promotes fair trade, protecting 2000 varieties of rice and creating 34 seed banks in the last two decades. Membership is 70,000 farmers strong.
A long list of awards have been granted to Dr Shiva and an equally long list of publications are attributed to her. She has also written twelve books and appeared in several films and documentaries.
What she touched on:
- that agribusiness has not delivered on its promise to provide the world with more food, in fact the opposite is true. It has increased the use of toxins to maintain yields dwindling because of poor soil conditions
- that genetically modified seeds are not providing more food, but more fuel for cars.
- that 80% of the food we actually eat still comes from small farmers
- that the best thing people can do is grow their own food, keep their own seeds and make food choices that support our local organic farmers
In such a distressing environment of global food monopolies, it is inspiring to hear people like Dr Shiva–passionate, funny, real and best of all, optimistic about the power we can claim by simply growing our own food.
You can hear her full talk on Gorilla Radio.
Contributed by Louise.