“I’ve grown up in the Himalayas — there’s no cash economy there. People are wealthy at zero dollars a day.
The point is that you need to have a clean stream. If your forest is intact and your stream is flowing and your knowledge is with you, and you can grow your food and you recognize the herbs that can cure you and you have mutuality of labor exchange, so that you come and work on my farm, and I come and work at your farm, why on earth would you need either dollars or rupees? On the other hand, if the water is commodified, if our seeds are commodified, if our medicine is monopolized, if there are no jobs. If the entire system is meant to merely be a source of profits for a handful of corporations, actually, you just have do your arithmetic, life becomes too expensive to buy. You can’t buy life. And now that they are trying to commoditize the very basis of life and own it and sell it back to us, basically the consequence is disposable people. Because for most people, then, life becomes unaffordable in any case, a life of that kind, even for those those who can afford it, is not life anymore.”
“Through patenting, indigenous knowledge is being pirated in the name of protecting knowledge and preventing piracy. The knowledge of our ancestors, of our peasants about seeds is being claimed as an invention of U.S. corporations and U.S. scientists and patented by them.
The only reason something like that can work is because underlying it all is a racist framework that says the knowledge of the Third World and the knowledge of people of color is not knowledge. When that knowledge is taken by white men who have capital, suddenly creativity begins... Patents are a replay of colonialism, which is now called globalization.”
“Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.”
“If they control the seed, they control food. they know it. It's strategic. It's more powerful than bombs; it's more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world." ”
“I think the reason why I'm such an optimist, in the middle of terrible collapse, disaster everywhere, is because I know there is no linear guarantee that its going to continue that way. If we do a little more, if we think a little differently, we're more engaged as citizens with responsibility, we could take it to another place
There can be no permanent agriculture without the permanence, diversity and renewability of seed. Unlike industrial monocultures, permaculture depends on the co-operation between different species – plant and animals, perennial and annual.
The seeds of this diversity are at the heart of an agriculture of permanence. This is why you have an extremely important role to play in the Global Campaign for Seed Freedom both to save the diversity of seeds as well as our freedom to save and exchange seeds. Everywhere new laws are being imposed that make seed diversity, seed freedom and seed exchange illegal.
That is why I invite you to play a leading role in the Fortnight for Seed Freedom from 2nd October (Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary) to 16th October 2012 (World Food Day). In the spirit of Gandhi’s satyagraha, we plan to focus especially on the 2nd October (Gandhi’s birth anniversary) as a call for civil disobedience against unjust seed laws, to declare our Seed Freedom.”
“The higher, more distant, level of patriarchy is capitalism. This is what is represented by corporate truth. You don’t see a man beating a wife, but there’s a fictitious man beating all the women, children and people of the world.”