Saturday, October 26, 2002

Dismantle CGIAR, IRRI, and all anti-people research institutions

Manila, Philippines - 26 October 2002

We the patriotic scientists and technologists in the Philippines, would like to call for the dismantling of all anti-people research institutions, specifically the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

In the 1960s IRRI was created supposedly to achieve food productivity and food sufficiency. Eleven years after that, CGIAR was created to contribute to sustainable improvements in the productivity of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in developing countries in ways that enhance nutrition and well-being, especially of low income people, through international research and related activities, and in partnership with national research systems.

The governments that adopted IRRI programs, under the direction of the CGIAR, imposed upon their farmers a scheme that shall increase harvest though the heavy use of chemical inputs. After the so-called "Green Revolution" farmers are more impoverished and poisoned by the very chemicals they used. Our farmlands have been devastated and our rice gene pool depleted. After years of following IRRI programs, the country is nowhere near establishing its own rice industry, and is in fact importing increasing amounts of rice every year.

The 16 international institutions under CGIAR, despite its monopoly of agricultural R&D, has also failed to contribute significantly to the development of agricultural industries where it is most needed, contrary to its aim of delivering sustainable improvements and productivity in developing countries. In the Philippines, we are nowhere near establishing our own livestock industry, dairy industry, and other agricultural industries.

In actuality IRRI, through the direction of CGIAR , developed technologies that is owned and controlled by agro-chemical transnational corporations. This monopoly of technology enslaved farmers to be dependent on agro-chem TNCs for seeds and chemical inputs in their farming. In the end, it is the agro-chem TNCs that benefited most from the devastation wrought by the failed Green Revolution of the 1960s.

In its 42-year existence, IRRI has done nothing but enslave farmers, and threaten health and the environment. The creation of CGIAR in 1971 even broadened the control of agro-chemical TNCs in other fields of agriculture-including livestock, forestry, and fisheries.

In this light, both IRRI and CGIAR are failed research institutions. We believe that a genuine, farmer-centered research institution should develop technologies that shall liberate farmers from dependence on any agro-chemical TNC, promote sustainable agriculture, conserve the environment, and protect the health of farmers.

On the occasion of the People's Street Conference on 30 October 2002, coinciding with the Annual General Meeting of CGIAR in the Philippines, we call for the dismantling of IRRI and CGIAR with the theme: Uphold People's Control Over Agriculture! Assert Farmer-Centered Research And Development! ***

Trixie Concepcion
Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya Para sa Sambayanan
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