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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  March 2002

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE March 2002

Subject:

FW: Monsanto Moves to Control Water Resources & Fish Farming in India

From:

Sam Anderson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Mar 2002 11:41:03 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (236 lines)

>--- Original Message ---
>From: "Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: "toplab" <[log in to unmask]>, "ny transfer news" <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: 3/7/02 12:59:55 Pm
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ayeshah Iftikhar [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Miércoles, 06 de Marzo de 2002 13:01
>Subject: [IndusFarming] Monsanto Moves to Control Water Resources
& Fish
>Farming in India
>
>
>*************************
>
>http://www.gefoodalert.org/News/news.cfm?News_ID=3202
>
>Monsanto Moves to Control Water Resources & Fish Farming in
India
>& the Third World
>
>
>Over the past few years, Monsanto, a chemical firm, has positioned
>itself as an agricultural company through control over seed
- the
>first link in the food chain. Monsanto now wants to control
water,
>the very basis of life.
>
>In 1996, Monsanto bought the biotechnology assets of Agracetus,
a
>subsidiary of W. R. Grace, for $150 million and Calgene, a
>California-based plant biotechnology company fo! r $340 million.
In
>1997, Monsanto acquired Holden seeds, the Brazilian seed company,
>Sementes Agrocerus and Asgrow. In 1998, it purchased Cargill's
>seed operations for $1.4 billion and bought Delta and Pine land
>for $1.82 billion and Dekalb for $2.3 billion.
>
>In India, Monsanto has bought MAHYCO, Maharashtra Hybrid Company,
>EID Parry and Rallis. Mr. Jack Kennedy of Monsanto has said,
"we
>propose to penetrate the Indian agricultural sector in a big
way.
>MAHYCO is a good vehicle." According to Mr. Robert Farley of
>Monsanto, "what you are seeing is not just a consolidation of
seed
>companies, it's really a consolidation of the entire food chain.
>Since water is as central to food production as seed is, and
>without water life is not possible, Monsanto is now trying to
>establish its control over water. During 1999, Monsanto plans
to
>launch a new water business, starting with India and Mexico
since
>both these countries a! re facing water shortages."
>
>Monsanto is seeing a new business opportunity because of the
>emerging water crisis and the funding available to make this
vital
>resource available to people. As it states in its strategy paper,
>"first, we believe that discontinuities (either major policy
>changes or major trendline breaks in resource quality or quantity)
>are likely, particularly in the area of water and we will be
>well-positioned via these businesses to profit even more
>significantly when these discontinuities occur. Second, we are
>exploring the potential of non-conventional financing (NGOs,
World
>Bank, USDA, etc.) that may lower our investment or provide local
>country business-building resources." Thus, the crisis of
>pollution and depletion of water resources is viewed by Monsanto
>as a business opportunity. For Monsanto, "sustainable development"
>means the conversion of an ecological crisis into a market of
>scarce res! ources. "The business logic of sustainable development
>is that population growth and economic development will apply
>increasing pressure on natural resource markets.
>
>These pressures and the world's desire to prevent the consequences
>of these pressures, if unabated, will create vast economic
>opportunity - when we look at the world through the lens of
>sustainability, we are in a position to see current and foresee
>impending-resource market trends and imbalances that create
market
>needs. We have further focussed this lens on the resource market
>of water and land. These are the markets that are most relevant
to
>us as a life sciences company committed to delivering food,
health
>and hope to the world, and there are markets in which there
are
>predictable sustainability challenges and therefore opportunities
>to create business value."
>
>Monsanto plans to earn revenues of $420 million and a net income
>of $63 million by! 2008 from its water business in India and
>Mexico. By 2010, about 2.5 billion people in the world are
>projected to lack access to safe drinking water. At least 30
per
>cent of the population in China, India, Mexico and the U.S.
is
>expected to face severe water stress. By 2025, the supply of
water
>in India will be 700 cubic km per year, while the demand is
>expected to rise to 1,050 units. Control over this scarce and
>vital resource will, of course, be a source of guaranteed profits.
>As John Bastin of the European Bank of Reconstruction and
>Development has said, "Water is the last infrastructure frontier
>for private investors."
>
>Monsanto estimates that providing safe water is a several billion
>dollar market. It is growing at 25 to 30 per cent in rural
>communities and is estimated to rise to $300 million by 2000
in
>India and Mexico. This is the amount currently spent by NGOs
for
>water development projects and local g! overnment water supply
>schemes and Monsanto hopes to tap these public finances for
>providing water to rural communities and convert water supply
into
>a market. The Indian Government spent over $1.2 billion between
>1992 and 1997 for various water projects, while the World Bank
>spent $900 million. Monsanto would like to divert this public
>money from public supply of water to establishing the company's
>water monopoly. Since in rural areas the poor cannot pay, in
>Monsanto's view capturing a piece of the value created for this
>segment will require the creation of a non-traditional mechanism
>targeted at building relationships with local government and
NGOs
>as well as through mechanisms such as microcredit.
>
>Monsanto also plans to penetrate the Indian market for safe
water
>by establishing a joint venture with Eureka Forbes/Tata, which
>controls 70 per cent of the UV Technologies. To enter the water
>business, Monsanto has! acquired an equity stake in Water Health
>International (WHI) with an option to buy the rest of the
>business. The joint venture with Tata/Eureka Forbes is supposed
to
>provide market access and fabricate, distribute, service water
>systems; Monsanto will leverage their brand equity in the Indian
>market. The joint venture route has been chosen so that "Monsanto
>can achieve management control over local operations but not
have
>legal consequences due to local issues."
>
>***** Another new business that Monsanto is starting in 1999
in
>Asia is aquaculture. It will build on the foundation of Monsanto's
>agricultural biotechnology and capabilities for fish feed and
fish
>breeding. By 2008, Monsanto expects to earn revenues of $1.6
>billion and a net income of $266 million from its aquaculture
>business. While Monsanto's entry into aquaculture is through
its
>sustainable development activity, industrial aquaculture has
been
>estab! lished to be highly non-sustainable. The Supreme Court
has
>banned industrial shrimp farming because of its catastrophic
>consequences. However, the Government, under pressure from the
>aquaculture industry, is attempting to change the laws to undo
the
>court order. At the same time, attempts are being made by the
>World Bank to privatise water resources and establish trade
in
>water rights. These trends will suit Monsanto well in establishing
>its water and aquaculture businesses. The Bank has already offered
>to help. As the Monsanto strategy paper states: "We are
>particularly enthusiastic about the potential of partnering
with
>the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank
to
>joint venture projects in developing markets. The IFC is eager
to
>work with Monsanto to commercialise sustainability opportunities
>and would bring both investment capital and on-the-ground
>capabilities to our efforts."
>
>Monsanto's ! water and aquaculture businesses, like its seed
>business, aimed at controlling the vital resources necessary
for
>survival, converting them into a market and using public finances
>to underwrite the investments. A more efficient conversion of
>public goods into private profit would be difficult to find.
Water
>is, however, too basic for life and survival and the right to
it
>is the right to life. Privatisation and commodification of water
>are a threat to the right to life. India has had major movements
>to conserve and share water. The pani panchayat and the water
>conservation movement in Maharashtra and the Tarun Bharat Sangh
in
>Alwar have regenerated and equitably shared water as a commons
>property. This is the only way everyone will have the right
to
>water and nobody will have the right to abuse and overuse water.
>Water is a commons and must be managed as a commons. It cannot
be
>controlled and sold by a life sciences corpo! ration that peddles
in
>death.
>
>http://www.transnationale.org/anglais/sources/environnement/eau__water_co
>ntr
>ol.htm
>
>--
>
>
>Ayeshah Iftikhar
>Visiting Researcher
>University of Wisconsin
>Department of Rural Sociology
>College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
>350, Agriculture Hall, 1450 Linden Drive
>Madison WI 53706 , USA
>[log in to unmask]
>
>"...And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count,
>    It's the life in your years....."   (Abraham Lincoln)
>
>
>*************************************************************************
>***
>"Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary
>spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal
hostility
>to
>poverty, racism, and militarism."   —Martin Luther King, Jr.
>*************************************************************************
>***
>The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory http://www.toplab.org
>*************************************************************************
>***
>
>

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