Amazing Seeds: Green Revolution Vs Nature’s Evolution

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AMAZING SEEDS: Green Revolution Vs Nature’s Evolution

While reading about the green revolution and genetically modified seeds, I never thought that I was also an indirect customer of global corporation like Monsanto. The truth was revealed when I called back home and they told me that we had grown a new type of maize in our garden. The seeds were amazing and our garden is now full of maize cobs. It didn’t take me longer to realize that the amazing seeds were nothing else but GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS.

However it was a good chance for me to explore more about genetically modified seeds and their productivity. When I asked about the cost of seeds, they told me that 1kg of genetically modified seeds cost about 350.00 Rupees (£2.69p @ £1=130PKR). Same amount (1Kg) of traditional seeds cost about 20 Rupees (£0.15p @ £1=130PKR). It means that genetically modified seeds are 17.5 times or 1750% expensive than traditional seeds.

Type Kg PKR(Pakistani Rupees) £ (British Pounds)
Genetically modified seeds 1 350 2.69
Traditional seeds 1 20 0.15
Genetically modified seeds 100 35000 269
Traditional seeds 100 2000 15.38

(A comparison of seed prices in Pakistan, November 2010)

There is huge difference in prices. If genetically modified seeds are bought for commercial scale agriculture or for large farms, the crop failure could be a disaster for poor investors especially when livelihoods are totally dependent on agriculture as it was seen in case of India where formers committed suicides when they were unable to payback their debt (Shiva, 2004). On the other hand the traditional crop with less chances of failure as having more compatibility with local environment, couldn’t be so disastrous because of less investment in seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.

As the price difference between traditional seeds and genetically modified seeds is 1750%, yield should be 1750% higher, however it wasn’t the case. I was told that on each plant there was one maize cob (though larger in size than traditional), in case of traditional crop 2 to 4 maize cobs per plant is normal production. There should be approximately (17) maize cobs on each genetically modified plant to get the equal production against (1) on traditional plant. It is comparison of yield against economic cost of seeds in terms of money/investment, and the cost of extra water, pesticides, fertilizers,  and environmental damage is not included. There are few more hidden costs like health, linked to modified species introduced by Monsanto.

By looking into cost of seeds, yield and compatibility with local environment, it could be seen that genetically modified species by Monsanto are not alternative of traditional species which are genetically modified by the nature through the process of evolution. Any living organism, either if it is plant or animal everywhere in the world, knows how to survive in different environmental conditions. Unlike Monsanto’s problematic recipes to modify life through laboratory processes ,  it is nature’s modification through evolution that makes the life possible in extreme water environments and at the poles by modifying genetic traits of organisms. Hibernation, migration, and evolution of predator prey strategies are few best examples in this regard.

Here are few links that shows the perfection of nature’s genetically modified species through evolution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzcLWXFzOm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwCi5y_QphY&feature=related

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One Response to “Amazing Seeds: Green Revolution Vs Nature’s Evolution”

  1. solidaarisuus Says:

    Fascinating article! This is another example – and directly related to your own life – of how humans want to substitute nature with technological fixes but just cannot and should really not try to do it.

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