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Uprooting GM Crops with Creole Seeds

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Agroecology is the solution

The Peasant Popular Movement (MCP) is working with peasant farmers like Seu Lazaro to identify and restore local practices and seeds that were replaced by GM seeds and pesticides. Through popular education like the small demonstration plots using Creole seeds, MCP also promotes the use of agroecological practices such as the diversification and rotation of crops and the use of natural fertilizers. One such practice, Agroecological Corridors, combines crops with natural fertilizer species that recuperate soil fertility.

After many years of monocrops and heavy machines, soils lose fertility and cannot even grow grass. In the Agroecological Corridor, farmers cultivate plants with strong root systems to break through the compacted ground created by the use of tractors. These plants also produce a good amount of leaves and branches that will feed the microorganisms in the soil, thus increasing its fertility. In this system, farmers are able to continue producing food while improving the soil.

Seu Lazaro is using the technique on his farm for the first time. He planted his Agroecological Corridor in an area with depleted soils and he is confident that after some adjustments his area will reclaim the vitality it once had.

Agroecology employs a set of practices that are environment friendly, socially just and economic viable. Unlike industrial organic farming, agroecology is not limited to producing food without pesticides. It also protects local agro-biodiversity, and relies mainly on the work of peasant farmers to end hunger. MCP’s grassroots work to build more resilient agroecological systems that value local knowledge is critical in these times when entire peasant communities are vanishing under pressure from agro-fuels plantations to produce for export.

In fact, MCP’s agroecological work has three positive effects. By creating the conditions for peasant farmers to stay on the land, MCP helps to reduce hunger in rural areas (where the level of malnourishment is the highest), values peasants’ contribution to supply the local market (peasant communities in Brazil produces over 50 percent of everything is consumed) and creates a more sustainable food system that cools the planet.

This post originally appeared on Grassroots International’s blog.

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Photo by Grassroots International.

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7:41AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012


6:05AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

We, from Popular Peasant Movement, are so glad by the comments and the support. MCP is a Grassroots International partner. Together we are working hard to strengthen family farms and preserve agrobiodiversity. "For food sovereignty and people's power" is our lemma.

5:54PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

There are farmers that have done suicide because of Monsanto's crops. They went into heavy debit and the committed suicide because of the huge debit.
The land does not do will with the chemicals used. The land is dead after the continued used of the pesticides used.

3:37PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

vendors of genetically modified seeds used to drop by with wide smiles and black suitcases full of samples and colorful catalogues. Their dusty cars, parked in the middle of the road

sounds so sketchy lol

9:00AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012


7:45PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

I have nothing against GM crops and farmers should be able to plant what they like, but I despise Monsanto's monopolizing tactics. What is needed is agricultural diversity--plenty of heritage crops, modern crops, and yes, GM crops as well.

7:01PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

People who want to argue that we can feed more people with GM seeds forget that most GM crops are going to require utterly perfect circumstances to produce at their full potential- like tons of artificial fertilizers (the runoff which poisons the local waterways) and huge amounts of water (likely diverted from wildlife habitat). Seeds from native plants can withstand the local conditions better when the environment gets too harsh (dry,hot, etc). There are still plenty of ways to get the native crops to produce more- just need to educate the farmers on rotating crops, adding compost to the soil, etc...

1:02PM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

This was a great article. Our Department of Agriculture in the US needs to adopt the agroecological model of farming and avoid GM farming that has not been proven to create drought-resistent plants nor does it help the soil.

Good work MCP!

7:06AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

If Brazil is so horribly contaminated with chemicals and pesticides,what is this doing to the flora and fauna in the Amazon River and rainforest,not to mention the native tribes which depend on these areas for their livelihood!? Sounds like corporate genocide to me?!It saddens me that there are salesmen who would sell their souls to the likes of Monsanto and then go out and con their fellow citizens.However,this is what happens in poverty-stricken developing countries,where choices are limited.

1:53AM PDT on Jul 8, 2012

Sounds like MCP is trying to protect and educate the people in that area of Brazil...Bravo..!!! They have a lot of work ahead of them to quell the tactics of dishonorable corporate agricultural companies.. We need to preserve the precious seeds of our Earth and not allow all our food to be grown from genetically altered seeds.

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