December 28, 2004
Farmers, Supermarkets and the NY Times.
Big piece today in the NY Times about how tough it is for small and peasant farmers to sell to supermarkets in Latin America. It all appears well written and researched and yet there is a nagging feeling that the writers have completely missed the point. Yes, small farmers are going out of business, those who are thriving are those with the capital and resources to supply what the supermarkets want. Yet the tone of the piece is that this is somehow wrong, that this is a problem that needs rectification in some manner. This is progress folks, this is what allows civilisation itself to flourish. As less labour is used to grow the food then society has the food surplus to allow people to do other things, write operas, become actuaries, play sports, set up health systems, in short, to do all of the things that we regard as our right in the modern world. It’s being going on since the Neolithic. The reason that Latin America is poorer than, say, the US, is because the process is less developed there. We should not be looking for ways to help peasant farmers stay in business on their one and two acre plots. We should be looking for ways for them to join the mainstream, those of us who do not sweat under the open sky for a living. More industrialisation, more service industries, less peasant farming.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Farmers, Supermarkets and the NY Times.:
Posted by: Atanu Dey | Dec 28, 2004 12:29:34 PM