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From Uruguay to Kenya, farmers face ruin, unable to profit as rich nations

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 05:17 AM
Original message
From Uruguay to Kenya, farmers face ruin, unable to profit as rich nations
Edited on Mon Sep-22-03 05:18 AM by JudiLyn
September 22, 2003

A Scourge Rooted in Subsidies
From Uruguay to Kenya, farmers face ruin, unable to profit as rich nations prop up their growers.

By Hctor Tobar, Sam Howe Verhovek and Solomon Moore, Times Staff Writers


TARARIRAS, Uruguay In a land without droughts, floods or locusts, the plague that's wiping out Uruguayan cattle ranchers is called economics.

Their cows produce rivers of milk, their steers grow fat. But ranchers such as Juan Carlos Planchon can find few buyers willing to purchase their products at a worthwhile price. Many have sold off their land and moved to the city, leading the 61-year-old gaucho to show up at protests with a banner emblazoned with the slogan "Profitability or Death."

In nearly every corner of the developing world places as diverse as China, Kenya and Uruguay working the land is a way of life that seems perpetually on the verge of disaster, even as food and crops circle the globe as never before. The long-simmering frustrations of these farmers led the representatives of about 90 developing countries to stage a headline-grabbing walkout earlier this month at the World Trade Organization talks in Cancun, Mexico.

At issue was the most powerful tool the wealthier nations wield in the marketplace: $300 billion in subsidies that help their farmers flood the world with cheap corn, cotton and other commodities.

"I've been calling Montevideo to get the ambassador of the European Union to come out here so she can see what their subsidies are doing to us," Planchon said on his ranch, fields of clover cut through with shallow streams. "We call it economic terrorism, because they've wiped out more people with their subsidies than with any bomb." (snip/...)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-far...

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priller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 07:27 AM
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1. Zoellick, like all of Shrub's men, is a prick
"Whether developed or developing, there were 'can do' countries here and there were 'won't do' countries," he said. "The harsh rhetoric of the 'won't do' overwhelmed the concerted efforts of the 'can do.'

Lord help us. It reminded me of a scene in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" where Johnny Depp's CIA character is upbraiding one of the local goons by saying, "Are you a Mexi-CAN, or a Mexi-CAN'T?" Zoellick's statement sound every bit as stupid.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:23 AM
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2. Too bad they can't sell to..
Too bad they can't sell to Cuba, because Cuba is paying cash (many tens of millions) for US agricultural and other products. Problem is, if these other countries try to supplement their sales w/cash from Cuba US law will prevent them from even attempting to sell their products in the US.

Damned (by the US) if they do, damned if they don't.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 08:32 AM
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3. Meanwhile, retail food prices in America continue to climb.
While wholesale prices decline and drive these people out of business. Somebody is making a big profit driving these people out of business.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 09:27 AM
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4. Only HUGE, Internationally owned Corporate farms....
...will be allowed in the New World. The peasants WILL GIVE UP their farms....or they WILL DIE!!!
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