ORYZA | Vietnam Women Rice Farmers Plant Flowers to Reduce Insect Control Costs
This story would make Kavi laugh, sing and be proud that people have found a way to live in harmony with the environment. Not surprisingly, a group of women have found a way to reduce production cost, reduce the use of poisonous insecticides,, nourish the bee population, and produce a bountiful harvest.
Why does it take a group of women in Vietnam to develop this harmonious method, instead of a highly advance country like the USA? Do they have the blessing of their country, their officials, their government in order not to become dependent and cause a downward spiral of devastation to the environment and life itself?
Have they awakened to the facts published everywhere that insecticides and pesticides do reduce the healthy population of bees and cause sensitivities and allergic reactions in those who consume these products?
Maybe these young developing countries have not be mired in big pharmaceuticals and government partnership for greedy enterprise? Maybe the women have been vocal about living with the native plants, the birds and the bees and work within manageable local control. The lessons learned by watching other countries loss control of native plants through monocultures, GMO and the use of chemical must be learned by more countries.
Could past experience with rodents and other challenges have pushed them to seek a better way?
Vietnam may have had to destroy dozens of thousands hectares of paddy rice in the southern region, the country's biggest rice hub, to prevent further spread of diseases and pests in fields.
NYT The Issue With Soil Contamination and Toxic Rice Concerns numerous agricultural countries. Soil in China’s leading rice-producing region shows high levels of heavy metal contamination, in a study that suggests that the proximity of mining and industry to agricultural areas is posing serious threats to the country’s food chain.
Over 38,000 hectares of paddy rice in the Mekong Delta, which represents more than half of Vietnam's rice output and up to 90 percent of the country's rice export volume, have been infected with diseases and mined by pests.
Local relevant agencies are encouraging farmers to destroy paddy rice fields with over 30 percent of their acreage being infected with diseases or mined by pests to prevent their spread, the newspaper quoted Nguyen Huu Huan, deputy head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The agencies are also proposing local authorities to offer financial assistance to farmers.
Vietnam, the world's second biggest rice exporter, has targeted to annually ship abroad four million tons of rice in the next five years, the ministry said recently. To this end, the country, under its strategy for rice production until 2010, will develop several areas designated for growing rice for export, including one million hectares in the Mekong Delta, and 300,000 hectares in the northern Red River Delta, aiming to produce 36 million tons of paddy rice each year.
The country expected to harvest 38-39 million tons of paddy rice in 2006, up from nearly 33 million tons in 2005. However it has recently decided to export five million tons of rice at most this year, down from over 5.2 million tons last year, in a move to ensure its food security.
In 2004, it had over 7.4 million hectares of paddy rice which turned out 35.7 million tons of the food in the year, according to country's General Statistics Office.
Some women rice farmers in Vietnam have saved about 42% of their insect control cost by planting flowers around the paddy fields as a part of the joint efforts by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to promote ecological engineering in rice farming.
According to the IRRI, about 200 women from the Tien Giang province in Vietnam were introduced to ecological engineering in March 2012. The participants were asked to grow nectar-producing flowers around paddy fields which attract bees and other insects that are natural predators of insects that attack rice plants. The practice not only maintains the ecological diversity of the farms, but also results in significant reduction in insect control costs, said IRRI.
An official from the IRRI said that ecological engineering reduced the farmers’ insecticide use by 21.6% and their spending for insect control decreased about 41.6%. IRRI scientist Dr. K.L. Heong says that in the long term farm households can save up to $50 – $100 per season by reducing insecticide inputs without any decline in production of rice.
In 2012-13, about 505 women farmers have been trained in ecological engineering, according to IRRI.
The Covert GMO Rice Grown in Kansas May Contaminate The State
Who ever heard of creating, growing, planting and eating rice that contained human genes. God did not make this rice, because He separated the species for reasons that humans may not fathom.
However, humans have the gall to think they are above God, and it will be their demise, as in the Tower of Babel story from the bible. They have begun this process right under our noses. Unless we the people DEMAND a halt to this practice, the powerful force of money and greed will continue this practice of manufacturing tainted inter-species non-foods like this Genetically Engineered (GM) rice.
We must also FIGHT for our rights to know what we are eating, because there is no law that regulates any labeling of ingredients or manufacturing practices. Look for the certified organic or testing label on the package of rice.
The only known GMO with inbred human traits in cultivation today, a GM rice product made by biotechnology company Ventria Bioscience is currently being grown on 3,200 acres in Junction City, Kansas -- and possibly elsewhere -- and most people have no idea about it.
Since about 2006,Ventria has been quietly cultivating rice that has been genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver for the purpose of taking the artificial proteins produced by this "Frankenrice" and using them in pharmaceuticals. With approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),Ventria has taken one of the most widely cultivated grain crops in the world today, and essentially turned it into a catalyst for producing new drugs.
A Health Threat | "These genetically engineered drugs could exacerbate certain infections, or cause dangerous allergic or immune system reactions," said Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety (CFS), who published a report back in 2007 about the dangers of Ventria's GM rice.
Spreading and Contamination Beyond the Growing Fields | The chief deficiency in gene containment measures is APHIS’s virtual neglect of seed dispersal as a route for contamination of other crops. The EA prescribes a mere 50-foot fallow zone around Ventria’s rice, and thus would allow plantings of soy, corn, wheat or other crops at any distance greater than 50 feet from Ventria’s rice. Rice is a favored food source of birds and mammals, and the EA lists no measures to exclude animals of any sort from Ventria’s rice. While animals that consume pharma rice will digest most of the ingested grains, some fraction will remain undigested and be defecated in viable form. Animals that consume pharma rice can easily defecate viable grains beyond the boundaries of the test sites plus surrounding fallow zones. An animal feeding on pharma rice near the boundary between rice and fallow zone would only need to move 100 feet or so to deposit viable grains of pharma rice in surrounding cropland via defecation. The typical foraging distance of the Norway rat is 2-3 miles,50 which is likely typical of many mammalian species that would consume pharma rice. Thus, even animals feeding in the center of pharma rice fields could easily deposit viable grains in surrounding cropland. Such viable seeds could sprout in the same or subsequent seasons in surrounding fields of soy, corn, wheat or other crops, and be harvested with these crops, contaminating these harvests with pharmaceutical compounds not approved by the FDA.
Study Says Chinese people in rice-growing areas may be more cooperative than those in wheat-growing regions
This news was published in "Science." When comparing people from different parts of China, researchers led by Thomas Talhelm of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, found that people from rice-growing regions think in more interdependent and holistic ways than do those from wheat-growing areas.
Talhelm thinks these differences arose because it takes much more cooperation and overall effort to grow rice than wheat. To successfully plant and harvest rice, farmers must work together to build complex irrigation systems and set up labor exchanges. Over time, this need for teamwork fosters an interdependent and collectivist psychology. Wheat, however, can be grown independently, so wheat farmers become more individualistic.
Last week, the authorities in the southern province of Guangdong found that more than 44 percent of rice or rice products tested there contained too-high levels of the poisonous metal which is found in zinc oresand, to a lesser extent, in greenockite. Its presence in soil as a contaminant is closely associated with zinc mining.
But the authorities at the Guangzhou Food and Drug Administration then clammed up, declaring it was “not convenient to reveal” the affected brands, thus leaving consumers unable to protect themselves.
That sparked consternation, and a storm of criticism, in the news media and online. Over the weekend, the authorities relented, releasing the names of eight rice brands and products, out of 18 tested, that had unacceptably high levels of cadmium. The findings were part of random food safety tests in the first quarter of the year and didn’t cover all the rice available on the market, the government said. Levels of up to 0.4 milligrams per kilogram of rice were found, twice China’s safety limit, according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.