The most compelling theme and presentations at the IDA Congress dealt with Biotechnology. The enigmatic Dr Vandana Shiva presented this keynote address which was surely the highlight of the Congress.

The session addressed 'The Green Revolution and Genetic Engineering: A Design for Hunger and Ecological Disruption'. The speakers looked at how we grow our food is an issue of how we design agriculture including the landscape, plants and animals. The Green Revolution and Genetic Engineering are based on designing agriculture on the principles of monoculture on toxic chemicals and re-engineering plants with toxic genes. These have consequences for food security and the environment. Among the consequences are the deepening of the hunger crisis and the impoverishment of ecosystems. Soil pollution, water pollution and genetic pollution are inevitable outcomes of a toxic design of farming.

Dr Vandana Shiva said that "We can design food and agriculture systems differently. This is what we do in Navdanya [an organisation that she established]. Our design is based on biodiversity. It is based on co-creation and co-production with nature. The ecological design increases food output while decreasing ecological costs."

Channel: Environment Channel

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