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Pandemic Cautions Agriculture Against Imperialism of Global Village

Updated on April 1, 2020
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The author hails from South Indian village, situated in the South-West coastal region. He is into farm science and agriculture.

Global Village Concept

Globalisation has changed consumerism and associated lifestyles. Various products and services are now available through the Internet. Logistics have also streamlined their cargo movements according to the Internet-based booking services. It was a very hopeful situation just before the COVID-19 menace bringing the world to a standstill.

Internet and telecommunications networks have interconnected various regional communities into one, known as a virtual ‘Global Village’. There was a fast approach to the realization of the global village and the markets were on their thrust to cater to the needs of the consumers belonging to any part of the world. E-commerce was emerging as a market leader by bringing smaller entities under its umbrella. The Amazon and Walmart were identified as suppliers of consumer goods to this global village.

Okra or Ladies Finger (Abelmoschus esculentus) seedlings
Okra or Ladies Finger (Abelmoschus esculentus) seedlings
Green gram sprouts
Green gram sprouts

Agriculture Was to Follow

There are different types of farms in the world.

  • Marginal farms
  • Micro farms
  • Small farms
  • Medium farms
  • Farms of Landlords
  • Corporate contract farms

There are different types of farms in the world. Some countries are under monopoly farming through contract agriculture, leasing their properties to large companies to enjoy it according to their will. These are some farms owned by landlords having a parallel government of their own. In some other parts, there are small farms with farmhouse and owner-operated independent and sustained agriculture. There are micro and marginal farms owned by hobbyists and very poor farmers.

There are also encroachments and illegal farms in many parts of the world including even inside biodiversity parks.

Various farms were going inside the boundaries of contract farming, influenced by the global village concept and monopoly market play by the global corporate giants. This is just as in the case of other consumer product manufacturers cases.

Corn seedlings
Corn seedlings

Commodity Storages

Similar to the above, there are government and non-government storages of farm produce in different types of godowns. These are the ones which are playing as buffers against market fluctuations.

People from South India were exporting their jackfruit fried items and importing oats. These have not much difference other than mere texture and form. Similarly exporting the mangoes and importing pears and likewise, there were many examples. This year of 2020 has altogether a different story to tell for the historical records.

Unanticipated Changes

The pandemic COVID-19 has put a brake to the multi-directional flow of goods as if earthquake and landslide have struck. It has broken the thinking in the minds of the consumers that – money can buy everything.

The lockdown has imposed a lot of screening of goods and also restrictions. Even if the authorities want to transport perishable commodities such as vegetables and milk, no cargo drivers were coming forward to venture into such tasks, fearing exposure to communicable diseases in unknown locations and threats of the pandemic.

Going back on history, the revolutionary anti-colonial agrarian movement linked to the First World War was very strong in the 1920s. Unlike those times, now after a century, the COVID-19 also known as the Third World War against mankind by the Novel Coronavirus is breaking down the imperial stronghold on markets by fragmenting them it to farm-level sustainable units. Many farmers around the world, including roof-top terrace farming and container farming enthusiasts, have begun self-motivated with whatever seeds available with them.

Chilli sprouts
Chilli sprouts

Farming is the livelihood for the majority of the citizens in the world and is the backbone of many developing countries.

Stevia plants
Stevia plants

Given an opportunity, would you like to have a sustainable farm of your own?

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Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) seedlings
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) seedlings

Back to Sustainability

Shutting off of borders, the lockdown of supplies have sown the seeds of sustainability in the minds of people. Now, that people have information in their hands regarding farming practices, have determined to take bold steps to reap the harvests of local biodiversity. As long as there are traditional culture-related activities, biodiversity is getting preserved. This reminds their people now and then regarding the indigenous crops, cuisines and the associated nostalgia. These emerge strongly during forced shutdowns reminding the richness of local diversity.

We are now seeing the local farmers sharing their seeds with fellow farmers. Farm officers from the government at the local government institutions are standing with the farmers. The first round of harvests has reached the community kitchens for preparing food for the stranded and homeless citizens. These are actually nothing but the success of tiny units ensuring sustainability on war-footing. However, the success of agriculture depends on natural resources, mainly water availability.

Final Words

Man is always accommodative to circumstantial changes, be it unprecedented or anticipated. There are various instances where evolutions have taken place due to unavoidable circumstances. The pandemic situations, deluge like situations due to global climate change are bringing in rethinking among all walks of life to take on the back-foot approach to globalised life. It would be wise to say that mankind has the liberty to choose its inclinations to indigenous and community sustainability approaches. These emotional feelings will continue to isolate the regional communities for basic needs. At the same time, the liberal approach of lifestyles, advanced consumer goods and electronic hi-tech equipment take life on the developmental approach of consumerism. In that way, there will be a balancing approach influenced by nature against global monopoly businesses.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Halemane Muralikrishna


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