While The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has been focused on the eradication of Polio, Gates’ annual letter outlines his realization of a need for a “Green Revolution”. Bill’s realization stems from the sad state of affairs we see in agriculture today. He raises several concerns about how to feed people in starving nations and in this country as well.
A main component to the letter is how developed nations have stalled out on efforts to innovate in the area of farming and food production.
“Agricultural aid fell from 17 percent of all aid from rich countries in 1987 to just 4 percent in 2006”.
“Now less than 2 percent of the workforce is involved in farming, and less than 15 percent of U.S. consumer spending goes to food”.
“Farming is a great example of something critical to the poor that gets very little attention in rich countries”.
These are interesting statistics and I would agree that farming gets very little attention however; it doesn’t matter how rich you are, if their isn’t any food available, you can’t buy it. I haven’t noticed any food shortages in the supermarket, have you? Bill continues on, making this proclamation:
“We can help poor farmers sustainably increase their productivity so they can feed themselves and their families. But that will only happen if we prioritize agricultural innovation”.
In America and other developed nations I believe that it isn’t a lack of innovative methods in agriculture that is putting farmers out of business, but rather a lack of paying them what they deserve for the services they have provided in their community.
Most farmers in the United States aren’t growing the food to feed their families, they are selling it. Perhaps we need to focus on co-ops that can make farming a more lucrative business. In other words, raise the price of food grown in American soil.
Farming is hard work, why do farmers get such meager pay?
Either way, one cannot disagree with Bill Gates, agriculture has not remained a priority in this country. Currently we are destroying food (corn) and transforming it into fuel for our cars. Just that action alone speaks to our regard for food production in this country.
I like what Bill Gates is saying in his annual letter, but I think it might be that America and other developed nations have a problem with priority’s, not necessarily our agricultural innovation.