13 - Post-WW2 rural migration, agribusiness and CAP
- Post WW2 final massive migration of country into towns/cities as factories shift from tanks into tractors.
- Chemical warfare industry morphs into pesticides/fertilisers business.
- Common Agricultural Policy twists post war ideal of supporting farmers into subsidy (benefit?!) for land owners.
- CAP encourages farmers to keep land 'free' from vegetation leading to flooding
songs, poems, quotes and stories any suggestions?
washing line post 1945 - Rural migration - Agribusiness - Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Ok, so let's hang up the world wars slip from earlier and we are now into the post war period which saw the final mass migration of people out of the countryside and into the towns as farming became largely mechanised.
it is a sadly little known fact the same companies which produced chemical weapons in the world wars, the gases used in the nazi holocaust and agent orange in the vietnam war now make up the modern day pesticide industry
this industry has since made more than enough profit to buy up all of the seed companies to create the monster that is often referred to as 'agribusiness' and are now involved in forcing one sized fits all petrochemical reliant mono-cropping and genetically modified plants into our worlds despite widespread global resistence.
I would propose to you that with this track record, these are companies which put profit before people and really don't care what long term effects their products have on us as long as the bottom line looks good for them.
After the 2nd world war, the Common Agricultural Policy was introduced by a fledgling European Union. The ideals behind it were very sound, to support farmers with subsidies so we can always feed ourselves which was sensible given the widespread food shortages both during and after the war.
The budget for CAP makes up over a third of the EU budget. We are talking about huge sums of money here.
In England, CAP in many places has become a subsidy paid directly to large land owners many of whom are not involved in food growing and this badly needs reforming. The Queen for example gets millions of pounds of tax payers money through CAP just because she owns lots of land!
Sadly the UK successfully blocked recent attempts to reform CAP as large land owners have pretty much got control of the government on this issue. There is a great BBC Panorama on this topic called 'the money farmers' which you can still find online if you search a bit... and I have a copy if anyone wants to get it off me.
Another disastrous effect of CAP is that it currently provide a financial incentive for land owners in England to remove vegetation from their land. This has been identified as a major contributing factor in the mass floods we had last year. Cleared of vegetation, water runs off the high land into the flood plains much faster and less of it is soaked up in the process.