Thursday, May 05, 2005

The business of agriculture

(I copied the following from a Council of Canadians update email.)

Since the Doha Ministerial of 2001, rich countries have continued to subsidize the production and export of their agricultural products, which they then "dump" on world markets. The main culprits, the European Union and the United States, promised to "reduce with a view to phasing-out" their subsidies, however, four years after Doha, they have actually increased them. This is destroying the livelihoods of small farmers by flooding the world markets with cheap products that don’t allow local producers to compete. Even in a rich country like Canada, net farm income is down 24%, farm debt has doubled, and small farmers are being forced into bankruptcy. Last July, World Trade Organization (WTO) countries signed a framework deal to structure further negotiations. The U. S. used the document to mount an attack on state trading enterprises like the Canadian Wheat Board. Canadian Trade Minister Peterson meekly said that there was little he could do to protect this institution, which has served Canadian farmers well in the past. The framework deal also reiterated the empty promise to reduce agricultural subsidies.

1 comment:

hazee_grl said...

Just cruising around looking at blogs and thought i'd say hi. Found yours because you put the movie Earthsea in your bio.