The Editor: As a farmer, I need to respond to Aimee Stang’s letter in the Nov. 19 PM re the Development and Peace Fall Campaign. The focus of the campaign is about the right to save seeds, supporting all farmers in the world, opposing UPOV’91 and Bill C-18 Omnibus Bill. It is not about organic vs. conventional farming methods. D & P’s campaign is well researched and there are no misguided perceptions and ideologies of agriculture.
Our farming practices in Saskatchewan are varied — conventional, organic and everything in between. I think all the farming community, no matter how we choose to farm, would agree on the importance for farmers to save their own seeds. I hope that we Saskatchewan farmers, in solidarity with the farming communities of the Global South, support this Development and Peace campaign.
In addition to the focus on the right to saving seeds, we are also invited to support local food producers, including organic. When we support local food producers, we support our local economies and lesson our environmental footprint. For those who can afford organic food in the stores, hopefully their purchases will help to bring down the prices with the greater demand.
We can also choose to buy from a farmers’ market or, better yet, grow our own food. So, with due respect, I read nothing in the D&P materials that would “vilify conventional agriculture.” On the contrary, I felt supported as a Saskatchewan farmer.
I do hope Aimee will reconsider and reach out to farmers in the Global South by supporting this campaign to protect and save seeds and our biodiversity as farmers have done for hundreds of years. Their livelihood and ours depend on it. Otherwise we can expect even more poverty and fewer farmers. — Marcella Pedersen, Cut Knife, Sask.