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Agroecology — sustainable farming that works with nature, rather than depleting nature — is the answer urgently needed to address global hunger, poverty and climate change, according to Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., environmental activist, author and founder of Navdanya International.

Shiva told Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on a recent episode of “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast”:

“Asset management companies go to an indebted company and say, ‘Give us your forest and your mountains, and here’s the money to pay your debt.’

“Because we are in a debt crisis, this kind of new enslavement will increase unless we rise up and say, ‘Nature’s not for sale.’”

Shiva’s latest book, “Agroecology and Regenerative Agriculture: Sustainable Solutions for Hunger, Poverty, and Climate Change,” provides evidence-based solutions for pressing crises in global ecology, agriculture and public health.

She told Kennedy she became an environmentalist when she realized corporations that sold chemicals and “poisons” wanted to own seeds and were promoting GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in order to patent the seeds.

“I happened to be at a meeting where they were talking about this 1987,” she said. “That’s when I said, ‘No, the seed must be saved. We cannot allow the poison cartel to be the owners of life and take royalties from the farmers.’”

Shiva and Kennedy discussed how the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pushed industrial agriculture on Indian farmers under the “so-called ‘green revolution,’ which really means “chemical farming,” Shiva said.

Kennedy pointed out that the green revolution “was a brainchild of the Rockefeller Foundation and a way to supplant local subsistence, traditional agriculture with chemically-based agriculture, heavy-duty pesticides, heavy-duty carbon-based fertilizers, big machinery etc. with the claim that ‘we’re going to feed the world.’”

“[Agriculture] has been taken over … by the Gates Foundation,” Kennedy said, which “has pushed people into starvation with these methods of bringing in Kraft food and McDonald’s and Cargill, and these big corporations that he has invested in — and Monsanto, of course, where he is one of the biggest investors — to create supply chains and to force those governments to force upon their people chemically based agriculture that enrich corporations in which he personally is invested.”

“Bill Gates launched Gates Ag One,” Shiva said, which promotes “one agriculture for the world” and serves as a platform for manifesting two of Gate’s “favorite dystopian visions” of “farming without farmers” — through the robotization of farming — and “food without farms,” through the manufacture of “fake food.”

“You can’t do ‘one agriculture for the world’ through biodiversity, with different climates. You can only do it through total industrialization mechanization,” she said.

According to Shiva, total industrialization mechanization would threaten the survival of all forms of life — people, plants, animals, insects, microorganisms — and the Earth herself.

People, she said, must resist this.

“We need partners everywhere, in every field — including the conventional farmers,” she said.

She added:

“Ecological farmers, regenerative farmers must join hands with anyone who is on the land, because anyone who is on the land can start taking care of the land and not participate in the destructive warlike activities.”

Shiva told Kennedy, “In a crumbling world where there are ‘cost-of-living marches’ everywhere,” where people aren’t being able to pay for food and rent, the “BlackRocks and the Vanguards and the asset management companies” are looking to control $4 trillion worth of financial assets.

People must send the message that “our world is not for sale,” she said.

Shiva and Kennedy also discussed how agroecology produces more nutritious food than a “One Ag” monoculture design.

“Our work shows that the more you enrich biodiversity, you intensify biodiversity rather than toxics and chemicals. You actually have more nutrition,” she said.

Listen to the podcast here: