The UN summit on the global hunger crisis took place in Rome this week. As usual the small farmers were not represented. Peaceful protests took place outside of the summit meeting to bring attention to this fact. As usual the protestors were forced to leave.
It is very disappointing that effective change in the current state of the global food system is still out of the question. Sure, they discussed the effect biofuels are having on the food system and the need fo further emergency aid, but until farmers are given some control of agricultural policy no real change will occur.
One of the worst parts about the global food crisis is that much like the big oil companies, the large agribusiness corporations have also experienced record profits. I’ll never understand how the people at the top of these companies can do what they do. They’re not stupid. They know that their control of ag policy is making themselves rich while denying the poorest countries their basic right to eat. I can only imagine the ceo’s of Cargill or ADM or Monsanto sitting in their offices like a bunch of supervillains, twirling their handlebar mustaches, and laughing fiendishly.
Others that can be found doing the rich man’s laugh are the speculators who are buying up food which drives up prices for developing countries even more while the speculators reap the rewards. At what point will this kind of activity be illegal? Maybe if some senator’s kid dies of malnutrition, then something will finally be done about it. I don’t exactly foresee that happening any time in the near future though.
Feeding the hungry will not be accomplished through a heartless money-driven corporate infrastructure. Only through an established system of small farmers working the land and providing for themselves and others can this happen.
I’m proud to say that no large agribusiness corporation is going to make money off my family farm. Almost all of our inputs are from small businesses or come from our own food, and our crops and livestock are sold in alternative markets. At this point I imagine the mustachioed ceo’s slamming their fists on their desks and yelling, “Curses! Foiled again!”, causing large stacks of coins to fall over, while thunder cracks and menacing music plays in the background.
Let’s see, did I miss any stereotypes?