More worrying developments regarding the corporate takeover of agriculture.
Nestle is eyeing the commercialisation of traditional red rice varieties in Sarawak. It is also trying to promote contract farming – perhaps something similar to what Sime Darby has in mind for the Northern Corridor.
It is presumptuous that these huge multinational corporations think they can teach traditional farmers, who have vast experience growing traditional seed varieties, a thing or two about good farming practices. What they will very likely do is make the farmers more dependent on agricultural inputs such as patented or hybrid seeds, fertilisers, and pesticides. The farmers will lose their independence in terms of the decision making over appropriate farming methods.
There are also moves to develop hybrid rice in Sarawak. Check out this disturbing assessment from Grain.org here.