Binnah Pownall, Billen Cliffs
I would like to know the philosophy behind the lack of support for Australian farmers and food growers by government. We have a unique set of circumstances – such as the tyranny of distance and weather extremes, though the fuel subsidy for farmers was actually cut some years ago.
We are six times behind the level of subsidy that other OECD farmers get from their governments – and look how far away their market is from us. We end up buying products from overseas that are subsidised by other competing governments. No wonder food is so expensive (and rising every day) on shop shelves when our farmers must pass on costs such as ‘food travel’ to markets.
Although subsidies are not really the way to go, as it ends up disadvantaging so-called Third World farmers even more, the breaking down of subsidies for farmers in the European Union and the USA hasn’t really happened. This leaves our farmers even more in the lurch! What to do?
In today’s changing world food market, farmers need all the help they can get to diversify through research and development assistance.
It all seems like bad future planning by successive governments, which ultimately adds to poverty levels in this country and suicidal stress on our farmers.
We need cheaper food.
We really need to start to look after our local farmers in Australia – in a real sense. We need, as a local community, to support food security processes further being put in place on a local level. It all starts at home.