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Farmers are reluctant to stop using toxic weed killers

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1 hour ago, laislica said:

Salvador: record harvests since Monsanto's Roundup dropped

By Fabrice Renault updated on 2 July 2019

El Salvador, which has turned its back on the big seed and phytosanitary multinationals, is seeing its crops explode! By abandoning Monsanto Roundup and promoting local seed cultivation, the country has significantly improved its agricultural system.

roundup of monsanto
 

Two years ago, El Salvador voted to ban 53 plant protection products for agricultural use. This major coffee, cotton, maize and sugar cane producer was withdrawing from the market, among other things, Monsanto Roundup (glyphosate), recently classified as a "probable carcinogen" by WHO (World Health Organization).

A plan to emancipate family farming in 2011

To protect the Salvadoran seed heritage and ensure agricultural production, the government of former President Mauricio Funes launched in 2011 the Family Farming Plan (FAP). For some 400,000 farm families, this plan aimed to upgrade local seeds and emancipate small producers of biotechnology companies and their GMOs.

In crisis, the agricultural system was mainly dependent on hybrid seeds marketed by Monsanto, Pioneer et al. Prior to the implementation of the FAP, 75% of the corn and 85% of the beans were imported according to the information site The Seattle Globalist .

And the plants grown on the territory were mainly from sterile GMO seeds, not adapted to the territories and their particularities, forcing the use of chemical inputs. Reaffirming its food sovereignty, the government has decided to break with the international seed industries to favor local seeds.

roundup of monsanto

And $ 18 million investment later

The state then invested more than $ 18 million to deliver 400,000 H-29 corn farmers, developed by the National Center for Agricultural and Forest Technology (CENTA). Maize has the advantage of being a local variety, better adapted to Salvadoran lands and more drought resistant.

"According to the Natural Society website, El Salvador's agriculture is in full expansion. The country has reported record harvests since it banned some plant health products. "

If El Salvador has turned away from major international biotech groups, questions remain about the sustainability of the country's agricultural plan. Because corn H-29, although produced locally, is a hybrid variety. Although it may be better adapted to the territory of El Salvador and require the use of less input, it is no less sterile.

Strong political will and small financial investments

Although not perfect, in terms of sustainability, Salvadoran agricultural policy is exemplary in many respects. Can other countries, or even whole continents, permanently break away from the seed and phyto-sanitary industry in the future?

 

Feeding people healthier, without polluting or fattening the major agri-food industries may well be the next big challenge for the planet. A challenge that El Salvador is in the process of picking up.

We will retain the method: political will affirmed (Fap in 2011, then plant protection ban in 2013), then an investment of (only) $ 18 million, or $ 45 per operator, or only $ 2.85 for each of the 6, 3 million Salvadorans.

So it's as simple as that change ... but then, the Republic it starts or not?

 

 

That is all good but we are not talking about GMO'S in Thailand.

As far as hybrid seeds go,they are cross pollinated between to varieties and are designed to combat disease while maintaining higher yields.Personally i think the seed is over priced in Thailand but effective in certain crops. 

Seed production is big business with plant breeders rights and always evolving.Heirloom or Hybrid.

Try planting a heirloom seed from 1980 and see how it performs in todays climate.

   

 

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This is a major issue here for me and today provided a good example. I was asked if someone here in the village had any of a particular bean seed to sell. We checked and yes we could get them. The grower asked for 25 baht a kg, 10 baht over the wholesale/farm gate price. I checked an often quoted here internet market, 148 baht/kg. Something is broken in this system.

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The government’s plan to phase out three chemical weed killers, paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, which are widely used by Thai farmers, may be easier said than done as most farmers oppose the ban because the chemicals enable higher crop yields.

 

 

 

   My parents in law are farmers and I doubt that they can even pronounce the words for their chemical helpers, nor do they know anything about the ingredients.

 

They just call it Ya, like medicine and have no idea how dangerous it is- even for them. 

 

That can happen when you kiss the wrong frog and the result isn't a prince, but looks like a long nosed liar who pretends to be a newbie politician.

 

Would the current Thai government educate the farmers that most of these weed killers aren't even allowed in other countries and much cheaper, they'd of course participate and use the stuff the government should provide for them.

 

It’s a shame that a farmer in Isaan is usually a very poor person with the lowest income.

 

Even Filipino farmers have way more money than Thai famers and that means a lot.

 

There’s not even one wealthy family in my wife’s village.

 

Farmers here are the slaves for the rich who don't give a flying kangaroo where their rice actually comes from. 

DSC03843.JPG

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31 minutes ago, IsaanAussie said:

This is a major issue here for me and today provided a good example. I was asked if someone here in the village had any of a particular bean seed to sell. We checked and yes we could get them. The grower asked for 25 baht a kg, 10 baht over the wholesale/farm gate price. I checked an often quoted here internet market, 148 baht/kg. Something is broken in this system.

Everyone makes some money of it if you want to fix it start to sell directly to consumers. But that costs money too and effort. Its not as if there was no added value. I often see what people pay for stuff as an accountant and then see for how much they sell it. There is a markup.. but what many people forget is that there are costs too. Postage / packaging / labor / ect ect. People often only see the markup. 

 

But if you think you can sell it for that price then why don't you ? I mean create your own selling platform and so on (you will see that costs money too). 

 

Where I come from many farmers sell directly to consumers (my area in the Netherlands) and make some money that way but they can't reach enough consumers to sell all of it so somethings they sell at a higher rate to consumers and others at a lower rate to whole-sellers. 

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The discussion is an interesting one that shows an appreciation by several as to the benefits of getting off dependency on some corporate agricultural/chemical giants. It always reverts to a need for healthy, microbially active soils. Some have pointed out that it's tough weeding and tending to many rye of land without use of a tractor, and others that the soils in the tropics don't retain fertility once ground is broken.
I see it as a problem of trying to bend the land to human use when instead we could be more easily applying nature's techniques to our benefit. A natural forest retains its fertility because if has built up a thick layer of leaves and twigs that hold water like a sponge, very active biologically with those leaves forming a compost tea that nourishes the roots from above while fungi (het) extract and supply minerals from below. Desired fruit and nut trees can be added to hillsides by coppicing or pollarding  existing trees allowing newer trees access to light while not killing off the network of fungi below ground. Providing a wide mixture / diversity of trees then reduces the attraction to pests out of balance with their assorted predators. Seasonal plants can be grown too in the pockets of thinned out forest - plus beans and squashes that climb the branches as their trellis.
There is the problem of hillsides that have already been stripped of trees/ forest. For that humans need support the return of the forest by adding water catchment ditches on contour. My family is doing that now for a small area that was formerly a cornfield. Yes, a lot of work - but it is health work on their own terms - with mutual company and support.

Leave the rice paddies to the lowlands or do terracing to hold the water. It is a sustainable system because the bacteria of those paddies fix nitrogen, and the flatness of the bottom lands precludes erosion that happens when hills are exposed to tropical rains and sun. Where humans are headed is a warmer climate. Preparing for it now as best we can will mean getting off the crops and agriculture that requires our burning fossil fuels (tractors/ harvesters/ trucks to processing plants) and getting back to having as much canopy over the land as possible.
The first image is a projection based largely on what heat will do to grain crops, while the 2nd is a an example of how swales (level ditches that follow contour lines) can help absorb water and avoid erosion on hillsides that had been cleared of trees.

image.png.1c8817eec991b6120e295220aa3401fd.pngswales_windbreak-1.jpg.37dcee82e32af1f49b01f27b5bb6a353.jpg

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Our land is rice paddy on the Korat Plateau and as flat as a pin. We do have swales but they are called bunds that edge each paddy field. Some major earthworks needed to control what water we get so we can get more than just one rice crop per year. Love to do what you have described but it will take some adaption, lots of time and money no doubt. Hopefully, one day!

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On 8/17/2019 at 6:58 PM, GreasyFingers said:

You must be very fit. Offer to help them, this year, next year and every year thereafter.

The soil needs to be turned, and all roots removed.  It takes time, but the end product is very healthy clean soil.  Jeez, ever done manual labor?

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On 8/17/2019 at 1:12 PM, IsaanAussie said:

Hey guys, take another look at the "jungle" those men are standing in. Now please add some more of your experience and wisedom and suggest just how they could clear 10 or 20 Rai of farm land covered in that stuff to plant their crops.

They won't. They'll burn it. 

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5 hours ago, Redline said:

The soil needs to be turned, and all roots removed.  It takes time, but the end product is very healthy clean soil.  Jeez, ever done manual labor?

All of my life but the body slows down a lot these days.

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On 8/17/2019 at 1:12 PM, IsaanAussie said:

Hey guys, take another look at the "jungle" those men are standing in. Now please add some more of your experience and wisedom and suggest just how they could clear 10 or 20 Rai of farm land covered in that stuff to plant their crops.

 

Forget about chemicals, fire, chainsaws and hoes. 

 

Just use a Bron Mulcher...  

 

 

It would probably also work well in Bangkok traffic jams 🤣

 

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2 hours ago, JungleBiker said:

Forget about chemicals, fire, chainsaws and hoes. 

 

Just use a Bron Mulcher...  

 

It would probably also work well in Bangkok traffic jams 🤣

At least on the masses of motor scooters.

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10 hours ago, GreasyFingers said:

All of my life but the body slows down a lot these days.

I can still move fine, it just hurts 

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15 hours ago, Morty T said:

They won't. They'll burn it. 

Reminds me that this is actually a technique used to remove weed without chemicals. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, JungleBiker said:

 

Forget about chemicals, fire, chainsaws and hoes. 

 

Just use a Bron Mulcher...  

 

 

It would probably also work well in Bangkok traffic jams 🤣

 

I want one of those.

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