Amid worsening global economic, food, and climate crises, about 70 to 80 percent of the world’s food is being produced by small and resource-poor farmers yet they only occupy 12 percent of the total arable land. On the other hand, only five agrochemical corporations namely Syngenta, Bayer, CropScience, BASFA, and Corteva dominate the global agriculture market today.
Spearheading the dominant yet failing industrialized food and agriculture that we know today, these five agrochemical corporations would not be able to forward their corporate agenda without the aid of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). For 63 years, IRRI has been criminally legitimizing and masking these agrochemical corporations as the messiahs for food insecurity by being their research and development arms.
When IRRI first operated in the Philippines during the 1960s under the Green Revolution, it only took IRRI half a decade to erase the 4000 local rice varieties of the country by replacing it with their “miracle rice”. What followed was a wave of famine, new emergence of agricultural pests and diseases, and wide scale poisoning of not only the environment but also of Filipino farmers with the package of chemical inputs that came with their so-called miracle rice. Since then, Philippine agriculture will never be able to build its own national industry in rice, not thanks to IRRI.
With IRRI currently pushing the so-called “silver bullet” to malnutrition GM Golden Rice in the Philippines and Bangladesh with Syngenta as its patent holder and “climate-smart rice varieties” with Bayer among others, IRRI has once again proven its role as one of the harbinger of famine and farmers’ demise in the world while also being the guarantors of profit for the wealthiest agrochemical corporations.
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