Vandana Shiva and the Seeds of the Sri Lankan Farming Disaster

For decades now, we have been told by NGOs such as Greenpeace, well-meaning but uninformed celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and the threat to global food security herself, Vandana Shiva, that organic farming is more sustainable and produces comparable yields to conventional farming methods. We all, including myself, want this to be true but deep down we all know when we see the premium price tag on organic produce that it’s not. The sad reality is that the organic movement is simply marketing disguised as a grassroots movement relying on, and amplifying, the ignorance of its own consumers. It survives by distorting science and promoting a false narrative that organic food is somehow safer or is more nutritional than conventional foods. That is not to say there is no shortage of problems associated with chemical-intensive large-scale agriculture, but the solution to these problems is not to take us back to the dark ages and for us to ignore all the advancements in technology that have taken so many from the brink of starvation. Yet there are many among us who romanticise archaic food production and yearn to return to a time before synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. The now former Sri Lankan President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has shown us what such a world would look like when he attempted to transition the country’s farmers to organic agriculture. The result was an economic and humanitarian crisis in which Sri Lanka lost its food security and half a million people were pushed back into poverty. This was one of many significant factors leading to widespread protests in Sri Lanka which the Rajapaksa administration attempted to suppress through authoritarian means, imposing curfews, restricting social media, assaulting protesters and journalists and arresting online activists. They were however unsuccessful and at the time of writing this, Rajapaksa fled to Singapore after protesters overran the presidential palace. Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as acting president as the country reels from an economic crisis and unrest. Seven months after forcing its farmers to go organic, the government reversed its decision and was seeking a $700 million USD loan from the World Bank to revive its agricultural sector by providing it with imported agrochemicals following the catastrophe. This is the dark side of organic farming. 

About Myles Power (764 Articles)
Hello Internet! My name is Myles Power and I am a chemist from the North East of England, who loves to make videos trying to counter pseudoscience and debunk quackery in all of its various forms! From the hype around GMOs through to Atrazine turning the freakin’ frogs gay, I’ll try to cut through the nonsense that’s out there!

1 Comment on Vandana Shiva and the Seeds of the Sri Lankan Farming Disaster

  1. MItch Whites // July 30, 2022 at 11:23 pm // Reply

    I do not understand why Sri Lanka is not bringing charges against Vandana Shiva and why they are not suing Navdanya International and Vandana Shiva. As you pointed out, she doesn’t advise for free but charges good money to do so.


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