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'green revolution' effects similar to causes of 'bird flu' spread???

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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 05:43 PM
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'green revolution' effects similar to causes of 'bird flu' spread???

(start of the OP in this thread)

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is essentially a problem of industrial poultry practices. Its epicentre is the factory farms of China and Southeast Asia and -- while wild birds can carry the disease, at least for short distances -- its main vector is the highly self-regulated transnational poultry industry, which sends the products and waste of its farms around the world through a multitude of channels.

Yet small poultry farmers and the poultry biodiversity and local food security that they sustain are suffering badly from the fall-out.


From the early 1980s, a major revamping of the agricultural sector of developing countries was implemented. While experiences differ widely from one region of the World to another, the same economic reform package (under the guidance of the Bretton Woods institutions) was simultaneously imposed on a large number of indebted countries. Under World Bank supervision, trade barriers to grain, dairy products and meat from the rich countries were removed alongside the elimination of subsidies and preferential bank credit for farmers. The World Bank also encouraged reforms in the structure of land tenure and ownership which favoured the formation of larger land-units, the forfeiture of land by the small-holder, the transformation of indigenous land rights and the privatisation of communal lands.

While new "alternative" export crops were promoted, the reforms were also intent upon preventing the Third World farmer from "switching back into food production" for household consumption or for domestic sale. The commercialisation of food production and the taking over of the peasant economy by urban-based agro-business was also encouraged.

Developing countries were advised by the World Bank to develop new specialised export areas. In Senegal and Mali, for instance, a profitable fruits and vegetables business for export was developed in private plantations to the detriment of the peasant economy. In Bangladesh, village based shrimp farming supported by the World Bank encroached upon the development of paddy production with detrimental environmental implications. This boom in non-traditional exports did not last, however, because the same so-called "high value added" exports were developed simultaneously (under World Bank guidance) in a large number of countries leading to a subsequent collapse in prices.

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