Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Family Farmers
The Nation has an article about family farmers and the looming food crisis.

Looking for a responsible, moral and effective response to the global food crisis?

Start by sending money to a group that is working to get food to starving people. I'm especially impressed with the savvy approaches of Friends of the World Food Program.

Then support the work of smart groups such as the National Family Farm Coalition to change failed U.S. policies that harm farmers and consumers in the U.S. and around the world.

The National Family Farm Coalition has for years been warning that a global trading system designed to enrich agribusiness conglomerates while undermining the interests of working farmers in the U.S. and abroad would lead to precisely the disaster that is now unfolding.

And they've proposed the right response: a food a fair food system that ensures health, justice, and dignity for all by assuring the basic right of communities to choose where and how their food is produced and what food they consume. The international campaign for this new approach is known as the Food Sovereignty Movement, and the NFFC has worked hard to build support in the U.S. for it as an urgently necessary step to avoid catastrophe.

We need to change the farm bill to help Americans achieve food security.

In the U.S., the misguided policies of the Bill Clinton administration and the Republican Congresses of the 1990s -- as exemplified by the 1996 "Freedom to Farm Act" -- eliminated historic food-security provisions and handed over control of grain stocks to corporate agribusiness giants and commodities speculators.

This is a modest proposal, but it's a wise one -- and in some senses a radical one. The World Trade Organization, the World Bank and other champions of the corporate globalization have for many years discouraged nations from taking steps to assure that adequate food stocks will be available for their people. The Food Sovereignty Movement says that feeding the hungry is more important than removing barriers to agribusiness profiteering.

Establishing a Strategic Grain Reserve is a small step toward food sovereignty. But it is a step that the U.S. can take, and in doing so it can send an important signal to other countries. This is the right time to act: negotiators in Washington are putting the finishing touches on a new Farm Bill. And so it should come as no surprise that responsible farm, consumer, environmental and religious groups have signed on to the call.

Farmers are not receiving the high commodities prices due to rising cost of production(gas and fertilizer) and commodities speculators.

No comments: