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Feeding Farmers

How can we feed the world and still save the planet? | Madeleine Bunting | Global development | guardian.co.uk

Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, is establishing himself as one of its key protagonists with an unapologetically radical agenda.
In London this week to give evidence to a UK parliamentary working group on food and agriculture, he explained the challenge he is putting to the donors and the international community.
Chronic underinvestment in agriculture over the last 20 years combined with trade liberalisation has trapped many developing countries in a vicious cycle of low agricultural productivity and dependence on cheap food imports, he argues.
Local farming goes into steep decline leading to migration to the cities. This is a serious market failure.

Trade liberalisation and getting people off the land into the cities is the key to economic growth, wealth and full tummies.

Farmers can get a better price if they organise together. And if they are organised, then governments have to engage with them. Farmers need a greater voice in the political process otherwise they don't get consulted and are cheated," he says.
But he acknowledges that this is not always a popular message. In many countries governments are wary of a strong, well-organised farmers' co-operative movement that could threaten their strategy to feed urban populations.

Farmers getting together to raise the price of food is obviously good for farmers but not so good for the poor. What does he want? What is he for? Why is he?


Maybe you nshould be looking closer to home for the same circumstances

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