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Posts Tagged ‘EU farm subsidy’

EU to use drones for policing farmers

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

West manages a food surplus after spending close to US$ 100 billion in subsidies to their farmers. Can Western farmers compete with India and Africa without subsidies?

Why will the rich and powerful give up this easy money?  |  Cartoonist - Nick Anderson; on 2005-02-08; source & courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com  |  Click for larger source image.

Why will the rich and powerful give up this easy money? | Cartoonist - Nick Anderson; on 2005-02-08; source & courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com | Click for larger source image.

European skies are to become home to new drones. The remote–controlled unmanned aircraft are set to police Europe’s farmlands for possible cheating and law violation. The decision has sparked grave privacy concerns.

­Each year the European Union spends almost half of its budget on its Common Agricultural Policy. Europe’s farms and agricultural lands cost taxpayers billions of euros in subsidies.

Cases of fraudulent subsidy claims are many. But as the cheating gets more inventive, the agricultural inspectors get more technologically advanced.

EU regulators have in the past used satellites to keep an eye on those claiming subsidies. These provided aerial images of farmlands, which were searched for signs of possible subsidy cheating or breaches of environmental rules.

But satellite images proved a failure in unfavorable weather conditions and mountainous terrain. One case was even dropped in court due to insufficient satellite evidence.

In their quest for more reliable instruments, EU inspectors chose unmanned aerial vehicles.

Used mostly for combat missions and surveillance, the drones will now serve agricultural policing aims.

Reports suggest that France and Italy are already trying them out for this purpose. (via EU farm-policing drone plan sparks anger — RT).

Champions of ‘Free Trade’

This brings two issues to the fore.

Why do Western farmers need close to US$100 billion (EU subsidy-US$75 billion & US subsidy-US$25 billion) in subsidy to compete with African and Indian farmers? Remember shortages in Europe after WWII? Is that the future of the West?

Can there be ‘free trade’ with US$100 billion in subsidy?

Leaders of the ‘Free World’

Between Europe and USA, there are more CCTVs, data recording (telephone, internet, conversations, et al) than what any secret or any other type of police ever had. The West has the largest prison population in the history of mankind.

More than 2 million in US alone – and another half a million in EU. More than Russia (0.85 million) and China (15.5) combined.

The one big difference between China and Russia on one hand and the West on the other is paperwork. The West produces enormous paperwork, procedure, laws, lawyers, to convince so many people to keep so many people in prison. Unlike China and Russia – who are not yet so skilled at this kind of show.

Now the ‘Free’ World will spy on its own farmers.

Some freedom, this.


Why India’s top cities matter … or do they really?

February 11, 2009 1 comment

These giant corporations, fueled by huge debt & equity, will drive out competition, and lower the boom on consumers and the farmer – like in the USA.
Information on dangers of industrial food is suppressed by more noise through campaigns of advertising, PR, sponsored research  | Cartoon Concept - Mike Adams; Cartoon Art - Dan Berger; 2006; source and courtesy - naturalnews.com  |  Click for larger source image.

Information on dangers of industrial food is suppressed by more noise through campaigns of advertising, PR, sponsored research | Cartoon Concept - Mike Adams; Cartoon Art - Dan Berger; 2006; source and courtesy - naturalnews.com | Click for larger source image.

India’s top 20 cities account for just 10 per cent of the country’s population, but this population earns more than 30 per cent of the country’s income, spends 21 per cent and, so, accounts for just under 60 per cent of the surplus income. The next lot of cities account for 20 per cent of population, 13 per cent of income and under eight per cent of surplus income or savings. Rural areas account for 70 per cent of population, 64 per cent of expenditure and just a third of the country’s surplus income. It’s obvious then that India’s savings can grow only as the country’s urbanisation rises. Given this, the promise of creating more urban centres would be a more effective tool in getting votes from rural India. (via Rajesh Shukla: Why India’s top cities matter).

Twisted data

How about also pointing out, Mr.Shukla, that urban India hogs all the infrastructure investments? Or that traditional banking (in the form of money lenders) has been done to death in the rural areas – and ‘modern’ urban banks do not go the countryside. Or that the traditional health infrastructure has been demolished in rural areas – and urban areas are getting all the investments. Or that credit growth in the rural areas has been choked for nearly 80 years now – and the Indian farmer competes with the US farmer, without the US$15-20 billion dollar subsidy (estimates vary).

Are you looking at the fact that rural India which is largely a user of Indian languages is excluded from higher education, which is transmitted in English? Has it occurred to you that this exclusion of India’s rural population from higher education could be the reason for the stagnation in rural areas?

Why is the US consumer not getting low food prices? What stops these food corporations from delivering low prices to consumers and high prices to farmers in the USA?  |  Cartoo by Richard Crowson; 18th April 2008;  source and courtesy - cagle.com  |  Click for larger image size.

Why is the US consumer not getting low food prices? What stops these food corporations from delivering low prices to consumers and high prices to farmers in the USA? | Cartoo by Richard Crowson; 18th April 2008; source and courtesy - cagle.com | Click for larger image size.

Farmers – in India and USA

The Indian farmer working without subsidies, with low technology, lower productivity has a cost edge over his European an American counterparts.

Giant food corporations, killed buying competition with high prices (to farmers), direct buying from farmers (at higher prices), monoclonal seeds that destroy bio-diversity. And the US consumers are not getting the lower food prices that are being promised in India.

And paid hacks of these Western corporations are trying to tell Indian consumers and policy makers that these giant corporations will reduce the costs of food In India.

Corporate farming … anyone?

Today, an ‘efficient’ and ‘hi-tech’ agricultural farm sector in the US needs more than US$ 15-20 billion (estimates vary) of subsidies to survive.

We may reach this stage sooner than you think.  |  Cartoon by Mark Knight; on 7/8/09; cartoon source and courtesy - thepunch.com.  |  Click for a larger image.

We may reach this stage sooner than you think. | Cartoon by Mark Knight; on 7/8/09; cartoon source and courtesy - thepunch.com. | Click for a larger image.

The US-EPA says, “By 1997, a mere 46,000 of the two million farms in this country (America), accounted for 50% of sales of agricultural products (USDA, 1997 Census of Agriculture data)– and gobble up most of this huge subsidy that lowers Third World agricultural prices.

These lower agricultural prices devastate agriculture in Third World countries, creating man-made famines. These man-made famines, of course, gives the West a false sense of superiority. (bold letters mine).

Beasts of Debt & Equity

These giant corporations are aiming for entry into India – promising ‘efficiencies’ in buying (which will give consumers a better price), and higher prices for farmers (which will increase farm incomes). Of course, this will last as long as there is competition. Once, these giant corporations, fueled by huge amounts of debt and equity, drive out competition, they will lower the boom on the consumers and the farmer – like in the USA.

Raj Patel, in his book, Stuffed and Starved, demonstrates how global food corporations are behind global food habits, imbalance traditional diets, creating disease epidemics (like diabetes) – and how India needs to be careful before crafting industrial policies that encourage these global corporations to destroy Indian agriculture. A book review extracts some key points as follows,

What we think are our choices, says Patel, are really the choices of giant food production companies. Millions of farmers grow food, six billion people consume it. But in between them are a handful of corporations creating what Patel calls “an hourglass” model of food distribution. One Unilever controls more than 90% of the tea market. Six companies control 70% of the wheat trade. Meanwhile, farmers across the world are pitted against each other, trying to sell these gatekeeper companies their produce. And if you think the consumer comes out on top because of all this competition, think again.

Selective data, is usually called propaganda Mr.Shukla. I wonder, who your minders are?


Rothschilds to use Indian farmers to supply EU with fruits and vegetables – Portfolio.com

December 15, 2008 Leave a comment

West manages a food surplus after spending close to US$ 100 billion in subsidies to their farmers. Can Western farmers compete with India and Africa without subsidies?

China has 60 percent of the arable land of India, but it’s 40 percent more productive because of technology. That India is the largest producer of fruits, No. 1 in the world, No. 2 in vegetables, and has only 1 percent of the export market. So, those are all really big factors that we know how to fix. You fix them with technology on the ground, with cold storage and infrastructure on the ground. And if the retail sector isn’t ready to buy higher-quality fruit and vegetables, which I always thought they would be-but three years ago, it was less obvious than now-you could export them and be the lowest-cost exporter. (via An interview with Lady de Rothschild – Executives Column – Lloyd Grove – World According to … – Portfolio.com).

Most interesting

The ‘backward’ Indian farmer working without subsidies, with low technology, lower productivity has a cost edge over his European an American counterparts.

Between the US and the EU, Western farmers get a subsidy of US$100 billion – and yet they cannot compete with Indian farmers.

Agriculture is the future.

Tally-ho!

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