Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Small farmers to remain poor?

"Even though rice prices are high at the moment, farmers' profits are low due to the high cost of fertilizer and the low prices farmers still receive for their crops from millers and other middlemen who often pocket most of the profits.

"Our children's children have other things in mind. They're no longer interested in farming because our rice paddies are not producing enough even for our own consumption. We still have to buy rice from the low lands.""

That has been my fear: that the small farmers wouldn't be able to improve their income even after the increase in food prices. This would require governments to invest in infrastructure and in farming, and they won't do that. As long as decisions are taken by urban politicians and capitalist investors, farming as a livelihood will continue its free fall. But not food production as an industry. I am looking forward to hearing more about the $100 millions program of Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela and Cuba to promote the development of agriculture. It sounds like a lot but this is really very little money for a task of this size.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rami,

dans une mission hier, il y a qlq'un qui a évoqué que cette augmentation du prix du riz est initiée par la politique du premier ministre thailandais. Et le stock actuel mondial est de 70 millions de tonnes suffisants pour nourrir a moitié de l'humanité pendant deux mois seulement.

Loubna

unpretentious_diva said...

The Price of Rice, What caused it to go so high?