Concept paper week of rice action 2007 celebrating and protecting rice culture



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CONCEPT PAPER

WEEK OF RICE ACTION 2007

CELEBRATING AND PROTECTING RICE CULTURE

A. Background of the Campaign (Week of Rice Action)

  1. Problem Statement: Rice is Asia’s main staple food and the basis of much of its biological, geographical, social, religious and cultural heritage and diversity. Yet this rich heritage is in grave danger of being lost. Already it has been seriously compromised by the corporate agenda and globalizaton. Traditional rice practices and knowledge are fast becoming things of the past. Rice lands are being overtaken by cash crops and development giving rise to migration and the multitude of problems that this brings. Meanwhile, the threat of incursion by GE Rice into Asia’s rice fields is real and imminent, posing the greatest new threat to the world’s base of rice culture. The trend in IPRs on rice is growing. There are indications that despite an official stance of caution, China appears to be veering close to approving the entry of genetically-engineered rice. If this takes place, Asia is at grave risk of losing its rice crop to the monopolistic control of agri-transnational corporations. The situation is exacerbated by TNC-controlled institutions like IRRI and WTO which promote the corporate agenda through any means including political and legal mechanisms that cripple Asia’s rice farmers and rice heritage.






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