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What are miracle seeds?​

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    Miracle seeds are the high yielding variety of seeds which combined with assured water supply fertilizer insecticides etc. would result in high production levels.

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Answer :

Miracle seeds or High yielding variety (HYV) seeds are helpful in increasing the production of food grains. The use of this seeds requires the use of fertilisers and pesticide in the correct quantities and regular supply of water. “>]” data-test=”answer-box-list”>

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Miracle seeds

Seeds are the first link in the food chain. For 5OOO years, peasants have produced their own seeds, selecting, storing and replanting and letting nature take its course in the food chain. The feminine principle has been conserved through the conservation of seeds by women in their work in food and grain storage. With the preservation of genetic diversity and the self-renewability of food crops has been associated the control by women and Third World peasants over germplasm, the source of all plant wealth. All this changed with the Green Revolution, which commercialized and privatized seeds, removing control ofplant genetic resources from Third World peasant women and giving it over to western male technology in CIMMYT, IRRI and multinational seed corporations.

Miracle seeds

The masculinist breeding strategy of the Green Revolution was a strategy of breeding out the feminine principle by destroying the self-reproducing character and genetic diversity of seeds. The death of the feminine principle in plant breeding was the beginning of seeds becoming a source of profit and control. The hybrid “miracle” seeds are a commercial miracle, because farmers have to buy new supplies of them every year: they do not reproduce themselves.

The Green Revolution has displaced not just seed varieties but entire crops in the Third World. Just as people’s seeds were declared “primitive” and “inferior” by the Green Revolution ideology, food crops were declared “marginal”, “inferior”and “coarse-grained.” Only a biased agricultural science rooted in capitalist patriarchy could declare nutritious crops like ragi (Elusiene coracaua) and jowar “inferior.” Peasant women know the nutritional needs of their families and the nutritive content of the crops they grow. Among food crops they prefer those with maximum nutrition to those with a value in the market. What have usually been called “marginal crops” or “coarse grains” are nature’s most productive crops in terms of nutrition. That is why women in Garhwal continue to cultivate mandua and women in Karnataka cultivate ragi in spite of all attempts by state policy to shift to cash crops and commercial food grains, to which all financial incentives of agricultural “development” are tied. A woman in a Himalayan village once told me, “Without our mandua and jhangora, we could not labour as we do. These grains are our source of health and strength.”

Bathua

The most extreme example of this polarised vision is that of bathua, an important green leafy vegetable with very high nutritive value which grows in association with wheat. When women weed the wheat field, they do not merely contribute to the productivity of wheat; they actually harvest a rich source of nutrition for their families. However, with intensive chemical fertilizer use, bathua becomes a major competitor of wheat and has been declared a “weed” that is killed with herbicides and weedicides. The food cycle is broken, women are deprived of work, and children are deprived of a free source of nutrition. The crops that the Green Revolution destroys are thus not marginal in the context of nutrition and survival, but in the context of the market and of commodity production of food for profit.

The bias against people’s seeds and people’s crops translates into a bias against women’s work in the production of sustenance. Since diversity works against the logic of centralization and control, genetic diversity must be destroyed. In effect, global agricultural strategies are breeding out those links in the food chain which are of high value to women’s work in the survival economy and which have traditionally been under their control.

The Green Revolution in Punjab reduced food values by displacing the traditional cereal-pulse-oilseed mixed cropping patterns and reduced the production of pulses and oilseeds.

Green Revolution in Africa?

The assumption that the “miracle” of the Green Revolution can be replicated in Africa is flawed on two grounds. Firstly, India was not an ecologically ravaged continent in the 1960s like Africa is today. Secondly, the miracle was not such a miracle even in India, as the experience of e.g. Punjab illustrates.

The “miracle seeds” of the Green Revolution were meant to free the Indian farmer from constraints imposed by nature. Instead, large-scale monocultures of exotic varieties generated new ecological vulnerability by reducing genetic diversity and destabilizing soil
and water systems. Punjab was chosen to be India’s breadbasket through the Green Revolution, with high- response seeds, misleadingly called high-yielding varieties. The Green Revolution led to a shift from earlier rotations of cereals, oilseeds and pulses to paddywheat rotation with intensive inputs of irrigation and chemicals. The paddywheat rotation has created an ecological backlash with serious problems of waterlogging in canal-irrigated regions and ground water mining in tube-well irrigated regions.

Further, the high-yielding varieties have led to large-scale micronutrient deficiencies in soils, particularly iron in paddy cultivation and manganese in wheat. Over the last year there have been 42 new insect pests and 12 new diseases in rice monocultures! We seem to forget to measure sustainability in nature’s terms.

The fading miracle of the Green Revolution is now creating pressure for India to adopt the African strategy of export- oriented cash crop production. Growing cash crops for export has been tried elsewhere and is a proven way to
be trapped into food scarcity and spiraling debt burdens.

The post-Green Revolution era

The failures of the Green Revolution are now apparent both to farmers and to those in global think-tanks. Farmers have stopped using “miracle” seeds. In Kerala, women rice farmers are reported to have said, “When we sowed only government- approved varieties, we had a loss.” In the Philippines, rice farmers called the IRRI seeds, “seeds of imperialism,” and in Negros, they are shifting again to traditional seeds as a basis of agriculture which is ecological and equitable. As the myth of the miracle seed gets exposed, international agencies are talking of going “beyond the Green Revolution.”

The post-Green Revolution era could involve a more rapid breeding out of the feminine principle by deepening trends towards uniformity and vulnerability, and transferring the control of seeds and crops from the hands of women and peasants into the hands of corporate giants. The present trends in biotechnology point in this direction.

It could, however, also be based on a recovery of the feminine principle in agriculture — consisting of a recovery of genetic diversity, self-renewability and self-sufficiency in food production, with control in the hands of those who provide sustenance.

Miracle seeds Seeds are the first link in the food chain. For 5OOO years, peasants have produced their own seeds, selecting, storing and replanting and letting nature take its course in the food