More farmers have already been liberated from the Seeds of Deception developed, introduced and promoted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI took thousands of traditional and climate-resilient rice varieties from the farming communities across the globe and replaced it with commercialized, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides-dependent varieties.
The farming system developed by IRRI has resulted to high incidence of hunger and rural poverty, and contributed much to global warming and climate change. The once organic rice lands were converted to pesticides demonstration fields. The once ingenious farmers were made totally dependent from commercial seeds, chemical inputs, technicians, traders and loan sharks.
Now that IRRI is celebrating its 57 years (April 4, 1960), the farmers around the world are posting this reflection point: Are there logical reasons left for us to use the seeds from IRRI, and for governments and policy-makers to prolong its existence?
The members of Agro-Eco Philippines have successfully developed hundreds of rice varieties from our community-based, localized and participatory rice breeding program (thanks to the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Butuan for sharing these pictures). These rice varieties are proven highly adaptive to the local climatic condition and to extreme weather events (drought, flood, and salt water intrusion) associated with climate change. More importantly, these rice varieties are accessible (given for free) to the farmers who want to liberate themselves from conventional farming.
Farmers are regaining their power once stripped off from them by IRRI. Certainly, there can be a much better agriculture without IRRI. And we are getting closer to attaining this.