(Speech delivered by Isidoro Angoc, staff-farmer of PAKISAMA, an AFA member, during the second day of the FAO international technical conference on “Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries: Options and opportunities in crops, forestry, livestock, fisheries and agro-industry to face the challenges of food insecurity and climate change (ABDC-10)” being held in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. ABDC-10 is hosted by the Government of Mexico and co-sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the World Bank are major partners in this initiative. Click here to go to the conference website.)
Guadalajara, Mexico, March 2, 2010 — I am Isidore Ancog from AFA.
As in the past, modern technologies come and go in our small farmlands especially that of green revolution; some died early, some stayed longer, but just the same those did not sustain. Why because we don’t own those technologies. Those were imposed on us from the top. As usual technicians from either public or private sector, come to our farms and introduce new inventions, and when they fail they just disappear, living us cleaning their mess – sometimes it will take years. We do not even know the scientists who invented those technologies to let them hold accountable.
Technicians can live without our farms, but we cannot. Farming is not only our means of living – but it is our way of life.
If you want your technologies to be accepted by small farmers, be transparent. Allow us to participate in the process and do not name it by yourself or your company. After all, if you insist for an IPR of your inventions, we can always insist not use our farms as testing grounds. And that also applies to Seeds. For us Seeds are nature’s gift for the use of everybody freely without restrictions. By any moral tradition, no one has the exclusive right to own them and deprive freedom of others to use them. For us any law that legalizes it is therefore immoral and malicious.
As this conference go, it seems to me that there is no holding back for genetic engineering technologies to be in our individual farmlands anytime soon. This time, I just hope that we will be approached by technicians who are transparent with their sources as well as their motives. I hope they knock our doors.
Pardon me from repeating what I have said yesterday, that “I am extremely threatened, not happy”. And I am saying that in the name of PAKISAMA in the Philippines and AFA in Asia.
I have very high respect to all the people attending this conference. But yet, I am formally announcing that I am on a HUNGER STRIKE beginning this lunchtime This is to signify our protest against GMOs.
Finally, as a recognize participant in this conference, I invoke my right to ask that this statement and my statement yesterday be included in the document and proceedings thereafter; thank you very much.