WASHINGTON, D. C., September 3, 2003 -- CropChoice news: A report released
today by the Agriculture Policy Analysis Center (APAC)
shows that the U.S. farm policy does indeed have a direct
effect on agricultural communities across the globe.
The research also suggests that ending subsidies is
not enough to reverse current agricultural conditions.
John Dittrich, senior policy analyst of the American
Corn Growers Association, introduced the study, Rethinking
U.S. Agriculture Policy: Changing Course to Secure Farmer
Livelihoods Worldwide, "This report goes comprehensively
to the heart of the ever more contentious trade issues
of farm subsidies in developed countries, low world
commodity prices, and global poverty."
John Hansen, secretary of the National Farmers Union,
said the report provided a critical tool that policymakers
should use in constructing farm policy: "We ask
the world community to thoughtfully review this research.
It concludes that even if the difficult task of negotiating
the elimination of global farm subsidies is completed,
family-based agriculture will continue to spiral downward
as a result of continued low commodity prices. Farmer-oriented
policies and international cooperation are the real
Dittrich and Hansen were joined by Katherine Ozer of
the National Family Farm Coalition, Lorette Picciano
of the Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural, Ben Lilliston
of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and
Bill Christison of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center.
In addition, other organizations present and supportive
of the initiative included the Federation of Southern
Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, the National Farmers
Organization, the Soybean Producers of America, and
the American Agriculture Movement.
Professor Daryll E. Ray, Blasingame Chair of Excellence
in Agricultural Policy and APAC director, followed the
news conference with a detailed presentation of the
"U.S. policies heavily influence the fate of farmers
well beyond our borders," Ray said. "Therefore,
policy addressing the needs of U.S. farmers also should
recognize our larger global influence. We have found
conclusive evidence through our analysis that international
trade policies have indeed led the way for the global
downward spiral of farm prices and farm income. However,
we can also predict with a significant degree of accuracy
that the elimination of U.S. farm subsidies without
real price-enhancing reform of U.S. policy will destroy
our farm and rural economy, and---surprisingly---would
perpetuate the problems facing farmers in developing
counties rather than alleviate them."
A presentation of the study and its background will
be presented during the WTO ministerial in Cancún
at Casa Maya on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 8:00 p.m. MEX.
For more information contact Dennis Olson at (612)870-3412.
For more information about the study or Dr. Ray's presentation,
please go to http://agpolicy.org/blueprint.html
or call the Agricultural Policy and Analysis Center
(APAC) at (865) 974-7407