The world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world’s food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland, a new report reveals. Corporate and commercial farms, big biofuel operations and land speculators are pushing millions off their land.
“Small farmers are losing land at a tremendous rate. It’s a land reform movement in reverse,” said Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN, an international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers, which released the report Thursday.
“The overwhelming majority of farming families today have less than two hectares to cultivate and that share is shrinking,” Hobbelink told IPS.
“If we do nothing to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself.”
GRAIN’s Hungry for Land report provides new data to show small farms occupy less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland today – just 17 percent, if farms in India and China are excluded. Despite this they still provide most of the world’s food because they are often much more productive than large corporate farms.
If all farms in Central America matched the output of small farms the region would produce three times as much food, the report said.
“Every day we are exposed to the systematic expulsion from our land,” said Marina Dos Santos of the National Coordination of the Brazilian Landless Movement.
“We want the land in order to live and to produce, as these are our basic rights against land-grabbing corporations who seek only speculation and profit,” she said. …
Is this not analogous to the structural problem with the overall interest-bearing debt driven economy? How does a multicellular organism allocate its internal resources? Does one cell owe another interest on a temporary allocation of virtual glucose that comes from nowhere and tricks all the rest of the cells into treating the fake glucose as real, thus making it real due to its facilitation of the overall functioning of the organism? This is a clumsy way to deal with magic, and such an organism wouldn’t be long for this world.
If we must have interest-bearing credit, it needs to be a public utility with interest payments distributed evenly among the public because it’s drawn on the good will of the public at large, not the bank itself.