Public Debate Shifting On Farms Subsidies

Credit: Bob MacInnes

The budget crisis has emerged as the ideal context for a critical public debate about farm [perverse] subsidies. Here’s an enlightening article about the Farm Bill that makes the case against supporting Big Ag—in the mainstream media, no less! Farmers Making $100 Billion Don’t Need Subsidies to Grow(Bloomberg)

Purdue University scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields: neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used to coat corn and soybean seeds before planting. Honeybee Deaths Linked to Seed Insecticide Exposure (Science Daily)

The Hershey Company is setting up a program in Ghana to procure its cacao “sustainably” while improving the income and living standards of farming families. Sounds wonderful. Many questions remain to be asked, however: what kind of farming practices are going to achieve the desired goal of doubling production in four years? What is meant by “sustainable farming”? How much say will these farmers have in the process? Is this a Green Revolution that doesn’t bear its name? Corporations are in the business of making money, and Hershey is no exception. Examples abound of programs designed to improve production, income and natural resources, that ended up costing people and the land dearly (Moroccon argan oil comes to mind.) Source Trust and Hershey launch initiative to grow farmer’ productivity (MyJoyOnline)

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