If you shall critique something, then you have to create an alternative: A ethnographic study of Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm’s practices of farming with nature

University essay from Lunds universitet/Humanekologi

Author: Tove Thernsjö; [2018]

Keywords: Social Sciences;

Abstract: This thesis is an ethnographic study of Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm, and their critique of the industrial agriculture and food system that focuses on agricultural intensification when the real issue is about food availability and distribution. The main critique is that industrial agriculture is based on extraction and focuses on profit rather than the livelihood of farmers. That it is insufficient in delivering food security especially for small scale farmers, as well as in handling extreme weather events that can cause loss of yield, soil erosion, and that there is a deficient security net for small scale farmers when this occurs. The findings are, from interviews with people that work at Navdanya and their expressions and perceptions that indicates the importance of living seeds, living soil and living food which can be achieved through practices of biodiversity farming. The interviewees answers are compared with Ariel Salleh’s concepts of metabolic rift and metabolic fit, reproduction with meta-industrial labour and metabolic value, as well as Arne Naess’ concept of Self-realisation and deep ecology. The interviewees’ experiences explain how biodiversity farming, which is advocated by Navdanya, is nature-centred. Food security, with minimal destruction on nature, is obtained through practices of diversity, which often adapts better to weather changes. This means that you don’t rely on one single crop. You rather follow nature’s cycles. Navdanya has been able to influence a change in agriculture based on the understanding that all living has a value within itself, its about livelihood for all living species.

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