Part 49: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

Each day we run three of your responses to the question: Where Would You Like to See More Agricultural Funding Directed?

photo credit: Bernard Pollack

1. Quintino Cabral Quade, São Tomé and Príncipe says:
Answering your question taking into account the reality of São Tomé and Príncipe, I would rather direct the money towards the small farmers organizing them in cooperatives. That would help a lot here.

2. Jill M. Smith Warning, USA says:
“I would like to see more agricultural funding directed at developing fair pay for agricultural workers. Our nation continues to exploit and oppress the very people who work back-breaking days and nights to provide the cheap and accessible foods we find in today’s grocery stores. The history of this exploitation suffered a severe blow when Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have finally granted ag workers the right to the same overtime payments the rest of the industrialized working world has enjoyed for decades.

Meanwhile, the local farms that are breaking barriers and fueling the renewed interest in farmers markets and home gardening are burdened by the fair wages they attempt to earn for themselves, and to pay farm helpers. Frequently, farm helpers are primarily volunteers, or apprentices who earn a paltry wage and possibly room and board. Fortunately, many young people are inspired by local farming to accept these conditions, but it is not a sustainable situation. Without a meaningful compensation, how will the apprentices ever save sufficient capital to purchase, lease, or co-opt land for farming?

Lastly, the workers who are employed by the massive meat-factories (CAFOs) and their slaughter facilities, are paid competitively low wages and suffer the dehumanizing effects of maintaining barely living animals and routinely violent and needlessly gruesome slaughter of these animals. These workers need improved working conditions (i.e. better conditions on farms and less violent slaughter methods), and improved wages and benefits.

These three labor-related needs of agriculture are the hidden costs of the cheap foods most Americans choose every day. Labor practices are infrequently included in the pop culture trend of farmers markets and eating locally, yet they are incredibly important issues for our culture to address.”

3. Kathleen Guillozet, Ethiopia says:

“I’d love to see more research on the agricultural funding itself: who is giving it, how much,  where is it going (at the national, regional and local levels).  One can find this information piecemeal, but it is difficult to get a sense of the big picture and consider broader implications.”

To read more responses, see:

Part 44: Huriye Kara, Pat Lanyasunya (Kenya), Prince Charles Dickson (Nigeria)
Part 45: Dyno Keatinge (Taiwan), Gizachew Sisay (Ethiopia), and Anne Woodfine (UK)
Part 46: Faruq Banna, Arnold Kauk (Australia), and Shahul Salim (India)
Part 47: Reed Sims (USA), Karen Soeters (Netherlands), and Kebebe Ergano
Part 48: @FoodSecurityNet, Howarth Bouis, Roger Serunjogi (Uganda)

What is your answer? Email me at or tweet your response to @WorldWatchAg

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