Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Rev. Gerry: Global Agribusiness and Immigration

Hi everyone,

On Dec 15 I wrote a piece called “Pima farm subsidies and US immigration policy” connecting US farm subsidies to the wave of displaced farmers and agricultural workers pouring over our borders looking to help their family survive, and pointed to Pima county farmers who are receiving $ millions that help starve out Latin America. The following piece from the NY Times illustrates the way multinational corporations in developing countries destroy even local markets for local farmers, and the cost to local families and economies.

I know we are in transition as a global economy. I have no answers. But during this transition, we can only proceed with humanity by examining all of the intended and unintended consequences of our actions. We just can’t take everything people had and then be mad when they look to us to help them stay alive.

In peace, Gerry

“José Luis Pérez Escobar, 44, a member of the co-op, scratched out a living for 20 years from his small field, perched in the clouds here.

But after his potato crop failed last year, he migrated to the United States to save his land from foreclosure by the bank, leaving his wife, María Graciela Lorenzana, and their five children behind. He now works the graveyard shift at a golf course in Texas for $6 an hour so he can pay his debts.

He had dreamed his cooperative would help him escape poverty by selling directly to the supermarkets. "It would be magnificent," Mrs. Lorenzana recalled of that more hopeful time. "The small farmer would not need a middleman. But he was never able to achieve it." Read More... (free registration req.)

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