Relationship between religion and agriculture companies

How does faith impact business in emerging markets? | World Economic Forum

relationship between religion and agriculture companies

Religions for Peace is a global organization comprised of faith leaders and members A global agriculture company is building connections, partnerships, and. Agricultural extension often concentrates on men, with male extension agents to religious ceremonies, which means that farmers are not available for farm work or based on relationships of birth and marriage within and between families. We give this point credence: Monsanto's use of the phrase, for example, is an empty gesture, devoid of meaning considering the company's farming and.

The largest exporting nation is Thailand. Shrimp farming has moved from China to Southeast Asia into a meat packing industry. Technological advances have led to growing shrimp at ever higher densities, and broodstock is shipped worldwide. Virtually all farmed shrimp are penaeids i. These industrial monocultures are very susceptible to diseases, which have caused several regional wipe-outs of farm shrimp populations. Increasing ecological problems, repeated disease outbreaks, and pressure and criticism from both NGOs and consumer countries led to changes in the industry in the late s and generally stronger regulation by governments.

Animal law In various jurisdictions, intensive animal production of some kinds is subject to regulation for environmental protection. In the United States, a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation CAFO that discharges or proposes to discharge waste requires a permit and implementation of a plan for management of manure nutrients, contaminants, wastewater, etc. Inthe US Environmental Protection Agency published 5-year and 1-year data on environmental performance of 32 industries, with data for the livestock industry being derived mostly from inspections of CAFOs.

Of the 32 industries, livestock production was among the top seven for environmental performance over the 5-year period, and was one of the top two in the final year of that period, where good environmental performance is indicated by a low ratio of enforcement orders to inspections.

Also in the final year, the livestock industry was one of the two leaders among the 32 industries in terms of having the lowest percentage of facilities with violations. In Canada, intensive animal production, like other agricultural sectors, is also subject to various other federal and provincial requirements. In the United States, farmed animals are excluded by half of all state animal cruelty laws including the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The hour law, enacted in and amended in states that when animals are being transported for slaughter, the vehicle must stop every 28 hours and the animals must be let out for exercise, food, and water.

The United States Department of Agriculture claims that the law does not apply to birds. Originally passed inthe Act requires that livestock be stunned into unconsciousness prior to slaughter. This Act also excludes birds, who make up more than 90 percent of the animals slaughtered for food, as well as rabbits and fish.

Individual states all have their own animal cruelty statutes; however many states have a provision to exempt standard agricultural practices. In Ohio animal welfare organizations reached a negotiated settlement with farm organizations while in California, Proposition 2, Standards for Confining Farm Animalsan initiated law was approved by voters in In order for this to happen, several actions need to be taken and these four components include: In any rural community there will be a number of formal leaders: The exact pattern will vary from one society to another, but the extension agent should learn what the role of each leader is, and how much influence each has within the community.

A village headman, for example, may have the power to allocate land to farmers who want to expand their holdings. In this situation, the extension agent will need the headman's support if he is to encourage farmers to invest in new enterprises which require additional land. Extension agents should try to work through formal leaders. They must learn which person is the best to approach on a particular issue. This may vary from place to place, even within an extension agent's area.

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A traditional chief in one village may be more influential than an elected councillor, while in a neighbouring village the opposite may be the case. In many rural societies, the extension agent will have little success unless he first gains the support of the traditional leaders. Only then will he be able to win the trust and confidence of the members of the community.

Informal leaders are not so easy to identify, because they do not hold any particular position of authority. They are individuals who are respected by other people, not because they hold an official position but because they have an attractive or forceful personality or because they seem to know the best action to take in any situation. Whatever the reason may be, other people are influenced by them. If informal leaders in a community support a new idea, such as the planting of a village wood-lot or the setting up of a cooperative, then others will be more ready to support it.

Extension agents can find out who these influential people are by observing who speaks out at village meetings or by asking farmers who they normally go to for advice. An extension agent can be more effective if he works through the existing structure of a rural society and through its formal and informal leaders.

However, such an approach also has its limitations. Influential leaders often come from the more privileged sections of the community. They may simply keep the benefits of extension, and of agricultural credit and inputs, to themselves and their friends. By working through such leaders, extension may widen the gap in living standards between the different sections of society.

The agent, therefore, should seek to work through existing formal and informal leaders, but should ensure that this approach does not leave some farmers at a disadvantage. Social expectations It was stated earlier that a person's position will determine the way others expect him or her to behave.

These expectations are known as norms. It is the norm in some societies, for example, for a married woman to eat her meal only after her husband has finished eating. These norms are deeply ingrained in people's attitudes and beliefs. They not only determine how other people think an individual should behave; they determine what behaviour the individual feels is correct. Extension agents should be sensitive to these expectations and should not underestimate their influence on people's behaviour, however irrational they may seem at first.

Culture The culture of a society is the accepted way of doing things in that particular society. It is the way in which people live, their customs, traditions, methods of cultivation and so on. The culture of a society is learned by each individual member of that society. Children are not born with this knowledge; they learn by seeing how older children and adults behave. As they grow up, older members of their family or kinship group teach them about the customs and traditions of the group and the society.

relationship between religion and agriculture companies

Later still, they may be initiated more fully into the society at ceremonies where they are taught traditional habits and customs, and their expected role.

Experience also gives the individual a better understanding of the behaviour pattern of the community and may teach the individual how to change some of the traditional forms of behaviour for newer, more modern forms. Culture is not an accidental collection of customs and habits but has been evolved by the people to help them in their conduct of life. Each aspect of the culture of a society has a definite purpose and function and is, therefore, related to all the other aspects of its culture.

This is important to remember when planning extension programmes. Changes in one aspect of culture may have an effect on other aspects of that culture. If changes in one aspect of culture are introduced, and these are likely to have an unacceptable effect on other aspects, then a programme may have little chance of success. This is one reason why local leaders and farm people should help in planning an extension programme. They will know whether or not the changes proposed will be acceptable to the society.

The more an extension agent learns about and comes to respect the culture of the people with whom he works, the more he will be accepted by them. He will also be more sensitive to the type of advice and support that will be useful. There are five particular aspects of local culture that the extension agent should be aware of: Farming systems Before he can offer any advice to farmers, the extension agent must understand their present farming system. What crops are grown and in what sequence or combination?

How important is each crop in the local diet? How is land prepared for planting? When are the main farm operations carried out? Why do people farm in the way they do? Farming systems are complex, and change in one aspect may create problems in others. In parts of Nepal, for example, millet is sometimes planted between maize plants. Thus, any change in maize spacing or subsequent weeding practice will affect millet production.

relationship between religion and agriculture companies

Similarly, in regions of Nigeria, up to 12 crops may be grown together on a single plot. Once he is familiar with local farming systems, the extension agent can explore the possibilities for improvement.

New farming practices will be more acceptable to farmers if they can be introduced into existing systems without drastic changes.

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Perhaps the timing of certain operations can be adjusted, or weeding carried out more regularly. Different seed varieties could be tried, or water use improved to provide more irrigated land. It is important to begin with what is already there and build upon it. Farming practice is not isolated from the rest of the society's culture and it cannot be treated as a purely technical subject.

It influences, and is influenced by, other aspects such as food preferences, land tenure and family relationships. In one African country, for example, extension agents encouraged farmers to plant their crops a few weeks earlier than they usually did. Research findings showed that output would increase and that even if the early sowing failed because of lack of rain, farmers would have the chance of re-planting. However, this advice challenged the authority of traditional leaders.

Nobody was supposed to begin ploughing and planting until the village headman had declared that the time was right. The advice also conflicted with the relationship between cattle owners and arable farmers: This simple recommendation, therefore, had implications for other aspects of culture, which made it difficult for individual farmers to change their farming practice.

Land-tenure systems vary from one society to another. In some communities land is owned by a tribe or kinship group, and each family has the right to use as much land as it needs to feed itself. It cannot sell or rent that land to anyone else, and there may be restrictions on the uses to which the land can be put. In other societies individuals can buy land and do what they like with it.

The land-tenure system will affect people's ability and incentive to take extension advice. In some countries, for example, land is farmed on a share-cropping basis. The farmer gives a fixed proportion of everything that is produced on the land to the landowner.

The farmer will, therefore, be unwilling to adopt new practices if most of the benefits will go to the landowner. Elsewhere, a young farmer may want to plant a tree crop, but is not allowed to do so by the leaders of the kinship group that owns the land. Or perhaps a tenant would like to improve his farm by fencing it or installing an irrigation pump but may decide not to, fearing that his landlord may take back the land without paying him any compensation for the improvements.

Inheritance The way in which land and other possessions pass from one generation to the next also affects extension work. In some cultures, a man's possessions are inherited not by his children but by his mother's brothers and their children.

This may reduce a farmer's incentive to develop the farm. In many areas, it is normal practice for a man to divide his land between his sons and daughters before he dies. Such a farmer will not want to do anything to the land that will make it difficult for each portion to be farmed separately later. In other rural societies, land is not inherited at all. When farmers die, the land they farmed is taken back by their kinship groups for reallocation.

Extension agents should understand the local inheritance rules, because they will affect the ability of young farmers to acquire land, and the incentive of farmers to take their advice. Ceremonies and festivals Ceremonies are a central feature of culture. They include religious festivals, celebrations to mark important seasons, such as the start of planting or the end of harvest, and ceremonies for events within the life of a family or community, such as marriage, birth and death.

An extension agent needs to know when these take place so that he can plan his activities around them. He should also take care to behave in the appropriate way on such occasions. Traditional means of communication All societies have ways of spreading information and sharing ideas. Songs, proverbs, drama, dancing, religious gatherings and village meetings are just a few of the traditional means of communication that an extension agent may find in a rural area. There are two main reasons why these means of communication are important for extension: An understanding of local proverbs, for example, will give the agent an insight into people's knowledge of their environment and their attitudes toward farming.

Until agbiotech changes the media and worldwide perception of the science, pathways for approval and importation of GM products will continue to be delayed and rejected, leading to negative consequences for many agricultural products and the people that could benefit from the science.

Hawaii provides an excellent case study for how the collection of data based on the methodologies presented could create greater acceptance and understanding of potentially beneficial crops. This example looks at both levels of stakeholder engagement—the farmer and the consumer—and shows how the culture of agriculture affects the acceptance of one GM crop papaya and the rejection of another taro. A group of scientists embarked on a proactive research process to find a solution.

The scientists first tried classic breeding methods using cross-pollination but could not get a resistant strain. PRSV is spread by aphids, yet increased pesticide use was not proving to be effective and was exposing farmers to increased risk.

This research was being conducted at the dawn of modern agbiotech and the concept of pathogen-driven resistance, which states that a transgenic plant that expressed a transgene of pathogen would be resistant to that given pathogen Gonzales et al.

This is attempted with the resulting production of one strain showing resistance to PRSV. To keep costs down and speed the success, the one resistant plant was cloned for field testing. Successful field testing resulted in the distribution of free seeds to farmers. Scientist then collected data from papaya farmers through surveys concerning their satisfaction and adoption of these new genetically modified varieties. GM papaya was successfully adopted by Hawaiian farmers, and papaya Carica papaya became the first horticultural fruit crop on the market that was produced by agricultural biotechnology.

GM papaya has been grown in Hawaii since the mids with little opposition. Hawaiian papaya is sold and eaten by millions of people across the United States.

Taro As early as and confirmed indocumentation states that the Hawaiian taro plant is susceptible to no less than 23 pathogens, the most serious of which is the fungal disease caused by Phyophthora colocasiae, commonly known as leaf blight. Dithane-M45 is the fungicide recommended to deal with these outbreaks. The material safety data sheet issued by Dow Agro-Sciences on Dithane-M45 fungicide states clearly that not only is this fungicide toxic to aquatic organisms, but it causes cancer and birth defects in laboratory testing.

It would appear on the surface that not only the taro farmers would immediately benefit from the introduction of GM leaf-blight-resistant taro by not having to use this fungicide, but in addition, the Hawaiian aquatic ecosystem would benefit by minimizing the use of this fungicide. Looking at the success of papaya, why does the resistance to taro exist? Risk, safety, and bio security assessments have been completed on GM taro, but resistance to the crop still exists.

Is this rejection fueled by the global anti-GMO movement?

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Is it deeply rooted in the agricultural practices of Hawaii and the sacred relationship to the taro plan? Is it possible that the apparent religious and cultural resistance to taro is simply a convenient reason for what is truly an expression of anger because of the way other GM crops have invaded the landscape of Hawaii? To change the genetics of Hawaiian taro is to alter that which is divine.

Taro is a sacred gift to the people, and as a gift, it must remain unchanged. This is the core belief system both religiously and culturally between Hawaiians and taro. Nothing about that will change—ever. Additional resistance rests within the farming methods and traditions with taro that do not apply to papaya. Taro is planted by almost all families in Hawaii. Taro saplings are shared among neighbors and families.

Hawaiian children are taught how to cultivate taro as part of understanding their culture. They are taught how to plant, nurture, harvest, pound, and make poi from the crop. This closeness to taro cannot be separated from larger-scale production of taro because the family farmer and the production farmer have the same responsibility of nurturing the ancestors through taro farming.

There is also a core element of farming that is critical; when a plant suffers, it is speaking. This is a language only farmers and those connected to plants understand. The plant is communicating that something is out of balance. For the indigenous farmer, this is a sacred communication that must be honored.

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GM intervention at this juncture is seen as merely a bandage, not a solution to the underlying problems that address the future security of taro in Hawaii. The failure to understand the totality of the agricultural systems of Hawaii created an environment where the benefits of GM taro could not even be considered. Hawaii is blessed with some of the most fertile soil on the planet and this, to the Hawaiians, is their source of life.

Religiously, the Hawaiian Islands themselves are sacred—the mountains, the plants, and even the rocks contained the souls of the ancestors. To not understand and respect this is to threaten the very existence of every native Hawaiian. The island of Kauai has some of the most fertile soil on the planet; it has been a hotbed for GMO conflict in recent years. Plots of land on the west side of the island have been used for seed production for GM corn and other crops for years. Pesticide and herbicide runoff and airborne spraying have been blamed for illness and environmental degradation.

relationship between religion and agriculture companies

Lawsuits filed against agbiotech companies continue, and outrage over the use of Hawaiian land for corporate profit fuels the opposition. Taro appears to be the final sacred straw. This failure to understand the religious and cultural beliefs surrounding the agriculture of the native Hawaiians was short-sighted. Many biotech companies only saw fertile lands for their own profits. So now, Hawaii is a hotbed for the rejection of GMOs that could actually contribute in a very positive way to the environmental sustainability of Hawaii.

Now farmers refuse to plant it and consumers refuse to eat it mainly because the cultural and religious aspects of this crop were ignored.

The importance of regional dialogue and regional understanding of agriculture for the future implementation of GMOs cannot be too greatly emphasized at this point. This future potential will only be realized through embracing agricultural knowledge of smallholder regional farmers and engaging their equal participation in solving regional agricultural challenges.

Otherwise, there will be many locations like Hawaii that jeopardize the introduction of a technology that can potentially preserve culturally significant foods and provide food sovereignty and security for many people.

Administrative Consequences Information dissemination and implementation rests largely on biotech companies taking the initiative in creating the platform for this dialogue. Cultural agricultural knowledge and techniques need to be communicated to the research and development sector, and applicable biotechnology needs to be accessed according to cultural practices to maximize acceptance and benefit.

There exist two key cultural stakeholders in this process—the farmer growing the food and the consumer eating the food. Each of these requires a different process for assessment and information gathering, and each of these require separate outreach and educational engagements. Barriers may lie in one or both of these groups, but understanding where and why they exist is critical for successful introduction and application of agbiotech.

The future of agricultural biotechnology rests in addressing the most pressing regional challenges as they relate to hunger, poverty, biodiversity, and regional diets Figure 2. Through culturally sensitive education and public outreach utilizing regionally focused media-driven campaigns, companies can seek to involve, inform, and educate the public about the importance of GMOs in the effort to contribute to food sovereignty and security challenges.

Focus areas for cultural acceptance. Agbiotech is a product, and just like any product, it needs to be evaluated and rebranded to reach its greatest marketing potential. Products that support sacredness, happiness, and well-being are the products that will be part of the sustainable future. Answering the following question is critical: If the answer is no, then what has been created needs to be abandoned, and a renewed focus must ensure that the power that rests in plant biotechnology is a form of knowledge bestowed to do that which is the highest and greatest good.

If the planet is truly sacred, and is here so that we may create happiness and well-being for all of its inhabitants, why are toxic things still made and known carcinogens put in the environment? This is not our sustainable future. Whatever the image of agbiotech is right now is the result of behaviors of many individuals who have neglected to ask if their actions are honoring that which is sacred and that which promotes the health and well-being of the people.

To continue down this path is to deny agbiotech its highest and greatest good.