For decades, families have been fleeing rural areas as there are no longer any opportunities or jobs to make a decent living. All this has occurred due to the decline of farms and ranches and the rise of agribusiness.
Farm policies were designed to ensure that agribusinesses paid farmers a fair price. Farmers were prevented from producing more than was consumed by the government. This policy, known as "supply management," reduced overproduction, ensuring farmers received a fair price and enabling smaller, more diverse family farms to thrive, which was better for the environment.
However, significant cuts have been made to these programs. Corporations have been paying farmers less and less for their crops as farm policies have no longer reined in overproduction. To keep up and pay their bills, farmers must farm as many acres as possible, spreading into environmentally sensitive areas, over utilizing their natural resources while using more chemicals.
Farmers, however, cannot keep up by simply planting more and more. Crop yields and income continue to fall, and more overproduction exacerbates the situation. Farmers across the country are currently in distress.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Farms:
In two years, life has been turned upside down worldwide. Agriculture, like all industries, has been forced to change its methods of operation quickly.
Farmers are used to adapting to changing conditions, whether they are floods, droughts, or pest infestations. Overcoming unforeseeable obstacles is part of the job, but the pandemic introduces a slew of new problems to growing the food people require. These challenges demonstrate that more needs to be done to improve the resilience of our food system.
Agriculture necessitates labor. People are essential in many aspects of farming, whether harvesting vegetables, milking cows, or collecting eggs. Isolation orders and global travel restrictions have emerged as one of the most significant challenges confronting farmers.
Supply Chain Breakdowns:
Reducing the number of employees on-site to allow safe working distances is happening across all industries. It is also one of several factors influencing the supply chains that transport produce from the fields to our refrigerators.
The movement of goods between countries is severely restricted, with several borders completely closed. As a result, there are backlogs and wasted produce at one end and shortages on another, which drives up consumer prices.
This pandemic is drawing attention to the significance of agriculture and the possible long-term ramifications for farmers
Farmers also require a return to supply management policies and a price floor. These pragmatic programs ensure a stable and fair price while preventing overproduction, which harms the environment and drives farmers into bankruptcy.
Nonetheless, farmers worldwide are rising to the challenge of ensuring that food is still grown and delivered to our tables.
Consider this a call to action to support your local farmer. We at Grass Grazed depend on the support of our local community to keep out doors open. We could not do this without YOU!