Wealthy nations spend 20 times more on farm subsidies than the US$12 billion they allocate to food aid and support for poor farmers annually, John McArthur, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, the think-tank which led the new research, said.
Farmers and activists from all over the continent converged on European Union headquarters Wednesday to push for a food policy that is fairer to family farmers and kinder to the environment and developing nations.
Agriculture ministers from Mercosur full members plus Chile and Bolivia, as members of the Agriculture Council of the South, CAS, urged a quick conclusion of the World Trade Organization Doha Round negotiations to help combat poverty and ensure food security.
One of the four rural organizations that for several years clashed with the Argentine government over export taxes considers the conflict “to be over” and said that President Cristina Fernandez “remains committed to helping the farming sector”.
Food price volatility featuring high prices is likely to continue and possibly increase, making poor farmers, consumers and countries more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity, the United Nations' three Rome-based agencies said in the global hunger report published Monday.
Major European corporations called on political leaders for an “ambitious and balanced” European Union-Mercosur trade agreement and asked that ‘agriculture issues’ impacts do not derail the project.
The head of the Argentine Rural Society, Hugo Biolcati carried out a harsh speech against the administration of President Cristina Fernandez saying it was time “to stop punishing farmlands and Argentina”.
Trade talks between Mercosur and the European Union have been frozen on the “edge of the cliff” because of the European debt crisis, differences over agriculture subsidies and other crucial issues according to sources in Brazil from both sides.
European farmers insisted Monday before the European Parliament on the “catastrophic impact” that a trade agreement with Mercosur could have for the EU agriculture.
A week before the next round of negotiations for an ambitious association and trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, a paper from the EU Joint Research Study centre, JRS, quantifies the alleged losses of such a deal for European farmers.