Farmers need incentive to invest

MORE than half of the 860 million hungry in the world are farmers, said the organisations representing European farmers and their co-ops this week, as world leaders met to discuss how to save hungry populations from skyrocketing food prices.

Pekka Pesonen, secretary general of COPA-COGECA, said: “In the past the EU has been blamed for lowering world prices and causing poverty in developing countries, particularly through its export refunds.

“Now that almost all export refunds are gone, the same critics say higher prices cause poverty and hunger.

“The best way to ensure the world has enough to eat is to give farmers an incentive to produce and invest. The recent surge in food prices has been destabilising. But farmers have had to face declining prices for their produce for years, while costs of energy, fertiliser and plant protection have steadily increased. Developing countries must be able to build their own food security. Fairer prices for farmers are necessary to achieve this.

“In Europe, the CAP has been so successful in achieving food security that consumers have come to take it for granted.

“But the EU has now dismantled almost every instrument that created this stability, just at a time when we face much more price volatility on the world market and the possibility of food shortages. Policy makers in Europe, too, must again make food security and stability their key objective.”


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