Monthly Archives: June 2015

Small is Cool!

Much has been written and said about the critical role of small farmers in our food production by advocacy groups such as GRAIN and more recently in a thought provoking piece by Gurumurthy. Apart from the fact that small farm holdings are more productive than large units and that most of our milk, vegetables, fruits and grains are produced by small and marginal farmers, the critical role of small and marginal farmers in climate change mitigation must be recognised. A compelling presentation by GRAIN clearly shows why and how small farmers can cool the planet! Food is not just about production and technology. It is a culture, a way of life, people’s livelihoods depend on it. It is about nurturing the health of living beings and the health of the planet. Food must be produced through agroecological methods which conserve and nurture soil – the bedrock of food production. Small and marginal farmers and indigenous communities have the knowledge to produce food this way. Every country needs to have a climate change mitigation plan that has small scale farming at its centre and more so India given the diversity of food crops, food cultures and knowledge systems that this country is home to. It is this knowledge and experience that we need to conserve and keep alive to address the challenges of climate change. It is only through the small farmer based food system that we will be able to set right our abysmal record of malnutrition.  The ridiculous notion that greater urbanisation is going to make us a superpower needs to be shelved!