Monsanto and other food mega corps stand accused of aggressively taking control of the food supply and maximising their profits at the expense of the environment and communities. At the opposite end of the spectrum are people like Dr Deb who preserve vital seed stock and empower people to feed themselves sustainably from the land they live on.
A new film, ‘The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist’ tells the story of a seed hero. Dr Debal Deb is a pioneering ecologist committed to working with traditional farmers in eastern India to conserve indigenous seed diversity. Over almost two decades, Debal has managed to save 920 varieties of rice, all of which he stores in community based seed banks in West Bengal and Odisha for farmers. This film follows the construction of a new seed bank premises in Odisha, a venture that provides a potent symbol of Debal’s values. As we saw in Seeds of Freedom, small-scale traditional farmers and their rich diversity of locally adapted seed varieties are being written out of the story of seed. They are the victims of an aggressive global lobbying effort, designed to convince a world terrified about food security that the corporatization of the global food system, involving transgenic seeds, is the only way to feed the world. But there are those who dispute this narrative – seed heroes, men and women, from around the world – who understand that the key to a healthy food system lies in maintaining the immense local and regional bio-cultural diversity of seeds and traditional farming methods. Their work to uphold farmland and community resilience and health has never been more important. A short film by Jason Taylor, The Source Project, for The Gaia Foundation. With huge thanks to Dr Debal Deb, the community and farmers of Odisha, and architect Laurent Fournier.
Watch Seeds of Freedom
Seeds of Freedom from The ABN and The Gaia Foundation on Vimeo. A landmark film narrated by Jeremy Irons. Find out more at seedsoffreedom.info The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story. Produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN. Thanks to all those involved in making this film possible. Produced & Directed by Jess Phillimore Camera - Jess Phillimore, Jason Taylor, Damian Prestidge.