Who Really Feeds the World?

The answer to this question lies, first, in dismantling the myths that surround the industrial mode of food production which relies heavily on chemical inputs and seed monopolies; and then examining the costs and benefits of monocultures vs. biodiversity; soil depletion vs. soil regeneration via multicropping; sustainable agriculture vs. cash-cropping; localisation vs. globalisation; and co-operative farming vs. corporate profit.

 In a succinct and clear-eyed assessment of the world’s current food crisis, Vandana Shiva contends that food and agriculture have become the sites for major paradigm wars about how we produce, process and distribute food. Caught in the cross-fire between small producers and corporate giants, are the one billion people in the world who suffer from hunger and malnutrition; and the thousands afflicted with diseases caused by toxins in our food.

Shiva advocates a powerful alternative to this scenario: reclaiming the right to food security through sustainable practises that value biodiversity and seed sovereignty, and creating a future in which no one goes hungry.

Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalisation, and of the Slow Food Movement. Director of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers’, peasants’ and women’s rights, she is the author and editor of a score of influential books, among them Making Peace with the Earth, Soil Not Oil, Globalization’s New Wars and Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard.

Shiva is the recipient of over 20 international awards, among them the Right Livelihood Award (1993); Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (1998); Horizon 3000 Award (Austria, 2001); John Lennon-Yoko Ono Grant for Peace (2008); Save the World Award (2009); Sydney Peace Prize (2010); Calgary Peace Prize (Canada, 2011); and Thomas Merton Award (2011).

From Women Unlimited, New Delhi, Rs. 300, 132 pages, paperback. ISBN: 9789385606106