A year after the uprooting of #Golden_Rice, more than a hundred farmers, scientists, consumers and basic sectors are calling for the immediate halt of the planned field tests and commercialization of Golden Rice (GR) in the Philippines.
GR they say, will only pose more problems rather than solving the problem on hunger and malnutrition.
The group also called for respect for farmers’ rights to land, seeds and technology and pushed for sustainable approaches to attaining food sufficiency and genuine rural development.
Mr Bert Autor, spokesperson of SIKWAL-GMO (Bicol Initiative Against Golden Rice) and member of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bikol (KMB) said that they do not want Golden Rice as it will pave the way towards more GMOs and tie more farmers to indebtedness.
We must protect our precious rice seed!
“More small farmers are into greater debt because of high costs of production and dependency on modern seeds and other production inputs”, said Autor.
"In a hectare, the average gross income of farmers in the Bicol River Basin is about P36,000. However, the cost of production reaches about P29,700 for the irrigation fee, fertilizer, pesticides and machineries, labor, seeds, land rent, etc.
“Now they are introducing this Golden Rice to us. We believe that this is again a ploy to further control our seeds and extract profit from farmers. We do not want Golden Rice in Bicol!”
In August 2013 more than 400 farmers and campaigners marched to the office of the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Office in Pili, Camarines Sur and uprooted the genetically modified Golden Rice.
According to the farmers, the direct action is justifiable to prevent #contamination of their precious traditional and farmer-bred varieties, and protect the health of the people and the environment.