Food and Water

In India, millions of people remain undernourished, not because there is insufficient food but because of unequal access to land, water, credit and markets. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not the solution, because the immediate problem is not production but distribution. Moreover, GMOs pose unacceptable risks to the environment, independent smaller farmers, and consumers, as well as to the biodiversity that is our best insurance against agricultural disaster. Water shortages loom, both in above-ground systems and subterranean aquifers. Deforestation of catchments takes a devastating toll in landslides and floods, while desertification and degradation are rapidly expanding. One bright spot is the rapid growth of organic agriculture. India Greens Party, therefore, shall:

  1. consider that access to clean water for basic needs is a fundamental right, and oppose the privatisation of water resources and infrastructure.
  2. work to eliminate water subsidies, other than social subsidies, and to make water use more efficient.
  3. work to ensure that fresh water and underground water resources are conserved in quality and quantity and appropriately priced to ensure these resources are adequately protected from depletion.
  4. consider that the stability of catchments and the health of river systems is paramount, and will work with the people directly affected to stop the degradation of rivers, including new large dams and irrigation projects, and deforestation of catchments.
  5. work with local communities in arid and semi-arid regions, where climate is dominated by uncertainty, to reduce land degradation.
  6. express its concern for regions that have been hit by desertification and deforestation.
  7. support and promote organic agriculture.
  8. call for a complete ban on the commercial growing of genetically modified crops.
  9. work to ensure that food is safe, with stringent regulations on production, storage and sale.
  10. work to ensure that scientific research is conducted ethically and applied in accordance with the precautionary principle.
  11. call for a phase out of all persistent and bio-accumulative man-made chemicals and to work to eliminate all releases to the environment of hazardous chemicals.
  12. work to ensure that animal growth hormones are banned, and stringent regulations governing the use of antibiotics on animals are enforced.
  13. work to ensure the humane treatment of all animals during breeding, transport and slaughter and will ensure animal welfare.
  14. work towards ensuring the effect of erosion, floods and other environmental hazards are ameliorated and that appropriate adaptation measures are implemented.