You Make Your Choice
......You Bayer The Price
I've discovered a City Guide page
, intended for English language teachers thinking of coming to Jakarta, which purports to give comparative prices of life here. I think that those more interested in English literature would benefit more.
These are just some of the flights of fancy.Glass of beer at Rp.5,000 (= 50c./25p.) a glass?
Yes, please ~ it's triple that. At least!Cheese 500gr./1.10lbs - Rp.9,000
Kraft Plastic - triple
'Real' cheese - at least eight times the price quotedt.Bread (white loaf) 1 kg./2.20lbs.
DoubleBread Whole (wheat loaf)1 kg./2.20lbs.
QuadrupleCoffee (ground) 500gr./17.63oz. - Rp.25,000
Less than halfSugar (white) 1kg./2.20lbs - Rp.15,000
About halfRoom in shared apartment in good area - monthly rent - Rp.2,000,000 ($200)
DoubleMarmalade/jam 370gr./13.05oz - Rp.15,000
Local - half.
Imported - doubleAspirin (100 tablets) - Rp.5,000
This is the price of a strip of 8 marketed by Bayer Indonesia
, a major player in the pharmaceutical industry. It's role as an unethical company has been well-documented.Bayer has been criticised for its own safety standards. According to an Asian NGO, female employees at one Bayer subcontractor in Indonesia had suffered health problems, including a high rate of miscarriages, because of the insecticide used in the mosquito coils manufactured there.
(1)Another workers' rights group in the region alleged in 1998 that Bayer factories used child labour, enforced shifts of up to 16 hours, and provided inadequate protective clothing. Some factories were said to violate Indonesian safety standards, which were themselves described as "lax".
1. Asian Labour Update June 1998
2. Occupational Safety & Health Rights July 1998
This situation may well have changed, but it is worth noting that in 2002 Bayer bought Aventis Cropscience, a biotechnology company.Bayer CropScience is convinced that maximising its contribution to Sustainable Agriculture is a business case, essential for our company's sustainability. We particularly contribute through the provision of integrated crop management technologies and services. However, we also work to enhance natural resource conservation and share our expertise within international policy processes.
Through an international and external consultation process, conducted in 2003, Bayer CropScience identified and developed three key activity areas that form the framework of its corporate Sustainable Agriculture strategy
1. Developing innovative agricultural technologies and solutions
2. Encouraging product stewardship: a life-cycle approach
3. Promoting good agricultural practices and services
The following is a programme which is being developed here in Indonesia.
Rice farmers in Indonesia need production strategies that will improve rural incomes and safeguard the environment. Insect infestations, particularly of brown plant hopper and stem borer, still jeopardize farm livelihoods, even though Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques have been introduced. Ongoing research is needed to improve farming systems and to address diverse insect pest populations.
One approach is to introduce secondary crops ('palawija') that add value to the farming system while also serving as catch crops for particular insect pests and shelter crops for their natural enemies. In partnership with the Indonesian Institute for Rice Research, Bayer CropScience in 2004 started developing a model for intercropping lowland rice with soybean and maize, which are planted in rice fields and around the dikes, giving the farmer additional income. IPM is also reinforced in this rice-palawija cropping system and engaging in these activities is a step towards a more sustainable and holistic agricultural production system.
Have I understood this correctly?
Intercropping to counteract pest infestations and to give farmers additional income?
Sounds fine to me.
.... a more sustainable and holistic agricultural production system ?
I'm all in favour.
Sustainable Agriculture is a business case, essential for our company's sustainability ?
How? Where are the profits?
There's no mention of pesticides, so are we seeing the covert introduction of genetically modified crops, such as soya?
These are unacceptable in much of the world; indeed, Bayer CropScience has withdrawn from Britain.
On 09/11/04 Bayer CropScience removed the last 2 GM crop varieties still in the approval process for the UK national seed list. Since 1994 58 different GM crop varieties have begun the process to be included on the UK national seed list and so be available for commercial growing. All 58 applications have now been abandoned.
Is it too much to expect Bayer to act responsibly here in Indonesia?
Now, that's a question to give you a headache.