29 Sep 2012

Bayer-Walmart partnership: A wedge in the heart of India's food security

I'd posted previously on why opening up the Indian market to FDI in food retail is akin to opening up a pandora's box full of ominous portents.

One of the most insidious eventual outcomes is the total or near-total control of the food chain from seed-to-shelf by giant retail chains and chemical corporations.


It is called the Value Chain Partnership. But in reality, the tag-teaming of chemical giant, Bayer and retail giant, Walmart, is a wedge being driven into the heart of India's food security. Treacherously packaged as a "sustainable agriculture" initiative, the final (long-term) objective is obvious: to control every step of cultivation from seed to chemical inputs to harvest procurement, and finally, to the point-of-sale.

In a nutshell, the idea is for Walmart to pressure farmers to grow 'traceable' produce with a 'Bayer (crop) Passport'! To earn the 'Bayer Passport', farmers will have to use both seeds and chemicals that are supplied by Bayer. And this monopolistic process is somehow going to make agriculture more "sustainable" than it has been for the several millennia that Indians have put plough to the ground? Hardly.

This 'partnership' is solely to maximise Bayer's and Walmart's future profit by consolidating vital points of India's food chain and crushing competitors (farmers) if they do not comply.

Do you think a consumer base of more than 1.2 billion individuals could become profitable?

Do you think it is remotely possible that no-one in the entire Government of India apparatus is aware of this potentially fatal risk to India's food security?

Do you think it is possible that they know - and are lying to the public, anyway?

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