January 17, 2024

Disruptive digital food and ag techs invading indigenous territories in India

Episode 3 of 'Who will control the food system?'
Food Barons report cover art showing peasants resisting corporate digital giants

Tune into the next episode in our latest podcast mini-series, Who Will Control the Food System, where we uncover just who's pulling the strings of industrial agriculture, dissect the latest corporate strategies, and take inspiration from the peoples and movements fighting back.

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In East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India, an Adivasi farmer gave his personal data and information, including his telephone number, to a representative of the Indian government. In India, “adivasi” is a collective term used to refer to indigenous people.

The farmer later learnt that this information was made public and embedded in a GIS map. He was also made to join a Farmer Producer Group and was part of a platform called Producers Market which claims to facilitate direct relationships between consumers and producers using emerging technologies and digital devices, protecting farmers from small traders who are supposedly 'exploiting' them. The farmer was made to believe that this project was good for him as well as for agribusiness companies.

But was it?

Just how and why are big data and tech in agriculture moving into the territories of indigenous people in India without their knowledge or consent?

How is the sustainability narrative being flipped by big business to penalise people living in the forests and reliant on shifting agriculture?

And how are agribusiness corporations planning to squeeze small food traders out of the food supply chain?

In our third episode, Zahra Moloo talks to Sagari R Ramdas, a member of the Food Sovereignty Alliance in India, about the impact of disruptive technologies in indigenous territories in India. Sagari is a veterinary scientist and a popular educator at the Kudali Learning Centre, where she facilitates education programs in social justice, food sovereignty and buen vivir. She writes and works on issues related to social justice, food sovereignty, livestock and ecological governance.

Listen in as we explore these questions!

To find out more about the digitalisation of food and agriculture you can also watch our animation “Big brother is Coming to the Farm: the Digital Takeover of Food” (available here in Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Swahili – and with versions in Arabic, Bisaya, Filipino, Hindi, and Portuguese on the way).

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