I’ve known about the US Army’s Agribusiness Development Teams for a while now. I first learned about them in a Farm Journal blurb last winter. At that time they were talking about a group from the Missouri National Guard who was going to Afghanistan. Now, in the new issue of American Agriculturist, I learn that the 10th mountain Division out of Fort Drum has been training soldiers right here on farms in Northern NY that are going to join the team. Some might wonder why the Army would have Agribusiness Development Teams. The “official reason” is to help the farmers there learn how to grow more modern crops, to learn “modern farming practices” if you will. The real reason, I’m afraid, is to make the Afghan farmers slaves on the global plantation. We saw how this played out in Iraq with the pushing of GMO crops and herbicides by the United States (who has become nothing more than military arm of the multi-national corporations and banks). What will “modern farming” mean to the conquered people in Afghanistan? It will mean the same thing it has everywhere else, including right here at home. It will mean a mass exodus from the land and the destruction of the local economies and local customs of the people. It will mean debt, financed by the big banks, to buy GMO seeds and herbicides. It will mean a switch from an emphasis on self-sufficient food systems to one based on growing export crops with slim margins. It will mean many people will be forced to the tent cities that will spring up around around the urban centers. It will mean an end to the hand crafts and small scale manufacturing of the rural village. It will mean the end of agrarianism. This done by Big Ag and Big Finance, all in our name. Some will say that the Afghans grow a lot of drugs and that we are trying to help the farmers grow something other than drugs. This rings hollow coming from the country who’s government depends on the those very drugs for income. I’m sure the CIA really wants to stop the drug imports, just like they want to stop the terrorists that they create and fund (ever hear of the war on drugs or the war on terror?). I hope the farmers ignore the propaganda that we are pushing there. I hope that Americans who read this are ashamed and alarmed at what is being done in our name and with our money.
- The Resilient Gardener, Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times
- The Chilling Effect