"It is a lie that without pesticides the population would die of hunger"

By Eduardo Sevilla Guzmán

"This is the great lie of those who work for multinational companies: to say that without pesticides the world would have nothing to eat. Look how many people are starving today and how much food is thrown away every day," he said in an interview with Télam.

And he continued: "But beyond the handling that is done with food, which has become a commodity, the performance of industrialized agriculture is not higher than that of organic and we have already demonstrated this."

Sevilla Guzmán received his doctorate in agronomic engineering at the Complutense University of Madrid and did a PhD (Rural Sociology) at the University of Reading in England; Among other tasks, he currently directs the Institute of Sociology and Peasant Studies - ISEC based at the University of Córdoba (Spain), where he also teaches sociology.

And, beyond his titles and positions, his wisdom and commitment to the subject made him a world reference in agroecology, which he defines as "a strategy to confront the development of savage capitalism."

"Agroecology is not a technological matrix, it is a strategy created collectively by producers and consumers to confront the perversity of capitalist modernity, to prevent the market from continuing to extract the surplus, to prevent the market from operating in exchange values ​​and not of use as it should be, "he said.

And he continued: "What agroecology seeks, which works with organic agriculture as a form of production, is for marketing to remain in alternative markets where there is no extraction of the surplus, where the producer and consumer agree and avoid that some people exploit others through the exchange value that the capitalist market creates ".

In this sense, ecological agriculture is, for Sevilla Guzmán, the productive dimension of agroecology and implies the possibility of generating food by managing the processes of nature itself, without the need for the use of agrochemicals.

"The soil can be fertilized through natural processes and respecting biodiversity. There is no possibility of making an 'adequate' use of the agrochemical because this is harmful to the soil from its very conception," said Sevilla Guzmán, a student of Latin American movement processes. indigenous and peasants.

The specialist described: "When you start using chemical fertilizers, the soil will ask you for more and more, then you already have to buy the seeds that the same company sells you, which will also sell you the entire 'technological package' together with it."

In the same sense, the use of transgenic seeds is "a form of control over food": "But there is not only the economic dimension, transgenics is also something new for science, so the human being is allowed eat genetically modified foods whose health effects are completely unknown and what is becoming known is that they are bad. "

Critical about the lack of research on these effects, the specialist assured that "there has been an industrialization of science", although he rescued those researchers who, from the margins, have been concerned about providing the data that allow confirming the harmful effects, for example of pesticides.

Another aspect of agroecology is the formation of markets on a smaller scale, where producers and buyers meet: "This other dimension is very important because it is the socio-economic dimension. Ecological agriculture consumed only by the upper classes does not serve to transform a society , but if it is completed with the other dimensions such as the creation of these alternative markets, then it begins to have another meaning ".

Finally, to achieve what is called a "transition to agroecological production", the specialist assured that "States must be committed to achieve this transformation on a scale of all world production." This can be done in Brazil and Bolivia There have been very interesting experiences that showed that it is possible, it just takes more political decision, "he concluded.


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