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By GRR - Rural Reflection Group
Regarding the campaign carried out by Greenpeace in Argentina to certify the production of biofuels. What is actually proposed to us is to consider transgenic soy to be sustainable or responsible, which for that matter, as long as it does not originate from fields reclaimed from native forests.
On April 22, 2008, the GRR presented at a press conference the reasons why it opposes the Round Table on Responsible Soy (it is assumed that there will be “IRRESPONSIBLE SOY”). There we remembered that in 2004 this same Table was called Sustainable soy.
We wondered if perhaps the image consultants of agribusiness have advised this semantic change to make green makeup more efficient, especially at a time when our beloved country is surprised to learn what it means to be a "Republiqueta Sojera".
The sadly surprising thing is that some organizations present themselves to public opinion as environmentalists, and that inexplicably, they were part of these consensus tables in which it is customary to seat victims, victimizers and accomplices of the victimizers, now they are engaged in a campaign to "Demand" that new green make-up be promoted. Greenpeace tells us in one of its latest documents: “This Friday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will be at the V Summit of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union, (in Lima-Peru). It is essential that, at this meeting, the need for sustainable criteria for biofuel production is raised ”.
What is actually proposed to us is to consider transgenic soy to be sustainable or responsible, which for that matter, as long as it does not originate from fields reclaimed from native forests. In other words, the possibility of obtaining biofuels in a sustainable way is being taken for granted and agreeing common policies with the corporations. But assuming that there is some possibility that agrofuels can be sustainable, denies the disastrous consequences that the expansion of transgenic soy has left and continues to leave not only in the cleared areas of Chaco but also in the very heart of Argentina's soy, as has been denounced by the GRR, for a decade. The results of the handover of the management of 17 million hectares to the free play of agribusiness have shown that soy production is not responsible or sustainable at an ecological, social, agricultural or economic level, and that the economic growth derived from this exploitation is fictitious, since it is based on environmental and social subsidies that savagely undercapitalize the country.
This situation also reveals the mentality of the national scientific technological establishment, which is now capable of imagining the production of crops governed by certifications, protocols and GAP (good agricultural practices) and GMP (good manufacturing practices), to produce bioproducts. such as: biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, bioplastics, industrial fermentations, etc., in such a way that taking advantage of the “bubble” of economic growth that occurs, strong opportunities for interrelation with external actors are presented for this sector, opportunities that translate into financial support for research oriented in this regard.
The very lie of sustainable agrofuel, if applied, would lead small farmers to abandon their intrinsic social function of ensuring Food Sovereignty. In this case, they will be encouraged to increase the abandonment of self-production of food, which until the 2002 Agricultural Census supplied up to 65% of our tables, a percentage that has been decreasing alarmingly to date.
However, the same Romina Picolotti (Secretary of the Environment), promotes the introduction of jatropha, an oilseed of Asian origin used in experiences in Santiago del Estero and in other Northwest and Northeast provinces, with the idea of promoting sustainable production agrofuel (CLARIN Rural on Saturday May 12, 2007, Page 20). The official in charge of ensuring the protection of forests, their biodiversity, their ecological integrity, seems to be unaware that the same lands on which jatropha cultivation is proposed to reduce CO2 emissions are naturally carbon sinks, in which Furthermore, there is family production of goats, poultry, honey, and a traditional use of native species of flora and fauna.
Science and technology institutions often recognize the family farming sector and its need for support to achieve sustainability in its production systems, contributing to a more equitable society. What worries us is whether this recognition arises from the perspective of respect for the unique characteristics of the PAF (Small Family Farming) and its process agriculture model or whether, as we fear, and more or less covertly, it is it intends to transform into "competitive" with the scale agroindustry, condemning it in this way, irremediably, to a certain disappearance.
It is striking that these contradictions are manifested within INTA itself. For example, with reference to agrofuels, Dr. Reinaldo R Muñoz, Head of Economic Studies at INTA Pergamino, states that: ”The burden for agriculture to generate energy seems very heavy and the biofuel promotion measures in the leading countries –To be produced in the countries of the periphery, - GRR nota bene-, they can trigger a very serious food conflict with repercussions still unknown for the poorest countries. In the meantime, they can bring a general increase in food prices "..." Biofuels should not be taken in any way, as the solution to the energy problem or the current environmental crisis, but only as part of a complex human development project and energetic. "
In our case, we are still far from establishing governing policies that in the field of ecology prevent any political or legislative project from ending up becoming a new instrument for the devastation of ecosystems, greater contamination and subjection. While we cannot generate a Nation project and aware that in this stage of domination, business proposals are to make up their policies green, while also committing small producers in their agribusiness, we can only denounce any attempt to accompany business policies with presumed eco-businesses and certified markets. Finally, it is reprehensible that the production of biodiesel is reduced while the productive green cords of families and small producers in towns and cities with their farms, orchards, fruit trees, and beyond, the dairy farms, breeding, rearing and fattening fields and all agricultural diversity. The global and national reality imposes privileging the production of varied, healthy foods, culturally accepted by our people and obtained by small farmers with processes that preserve the ecological environment.
Agrofuel production is not admissible in a country that receives food donations as we document in our www.grr.org.ar. The organizations specialized in helping the green make-up of agribusiness, when they suggest that there may be a sustainable agrofuel, are functional to agribusiness, and are accomplices and partners of these. The only sustainable agrofuel is one that is not produced, while the solution to future problems of humanity and the biosphere that allows its existence begins with the reduction of fuel consumption, and as a fundamental thesis, advocating humanitarian development without economic growth.
GRR Rural Reflection Group - May 29, 2008