In a blog published Jan. 9 in the Guardian, outspoken Indian philosopher and activist Vandana Shiva blames the current economic, environmental and food crises on an outdated and profit-hungry agricultural network that places commodities and wealth building ahead of people and ecology.
“The fossilized paradigm of food and agriculture gives us displacement, dispossession, disease and ecological destruction,” she wrote. “It has given us the farmers' suicides and an epidemic of hunger and malnutrition.”
The sustainability pioneer insists on a new paradigm of food production that will no longer rely on "energy slaves and toxic chemicals." Instead, her new ‘futurnomics’ paradigm “is based on people and biodiversity.”
As an advocate of small farmers, under Shiva’s model, farmers grow a variety of crops and focus on yields of food and nutrition, rather than the current ‘energy slave model’ which focuses on growing crops as cheaply as possible to be sold for profits to corporations,
By valuing the farmers and allowing them to produce edible crops, in Shiva's new model, the farmers labor is not just used for exported commodities but provides nutrition and food for the community they live in. The emphasis is also on nurturing the land, not just exploiting it or using chemicals to force higher yields, in order to protect the fields for future growers.
"The new paradigm we are creating on the ground and in our minds enriches livelihoods, the health of people, and all ecosystems and cultures,” Shiva stated.